FLASHBACK: Jeb said he'd win South Carolina — 'take it to the bank'
© Greg Nash

Jeb Bush was so confident of winning South Carolina that as recently as September he told people to take his victory in that state "to the bank."

“I’m going to win South Carolina, take it to the bank,” Bush told reporters in late September, according to The Charleston Post and Courier.

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But on Saturday night, Bush not only failed to win but looks set to finish a distant fourth or fifth. The disappointing result will amplify the pressure on Bush to shut down his campaign and clear the way for Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE to be the GOP's establishment choice to take on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE.

South Carolina was not supposed to turn out this way for the former Florida governor. Bush allies frequently refer to the Palmetto State as "Bush country" and remember the state fondly for delivering a decisive win in the 2000 primaries that helped George W. Bush overcome an insurgent John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE.

Bush threw everything he had at South Carolina. His brother, who has not stumped for anyone since leaving the presidency, hit the campaign trail this week as did Bush's other family members, including his mother, Barbara.

The Bush campaign and his super-PAC also spent more money than any other candidate in South Carolina, won the endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE and invested time and resources into courting the state's substantial veterans community.

But on Saturday night, Bush was swept away by Trump, Cruz and — most galling for the Bush forces — his former protégé in Florida, Rubio. With some 20 percent of the vote counted, Bush risks finishing in single digits.