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.


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 RubioRubio knocks coverage of US coronavirus cases as 'grotesque' and 'bad journalism Lessons from the front line — Florida's fight with sea level rise SNAP, airlines among final hurdles to coronavirus stimulus deal MORE to be the GOP's establishment choice to take on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz jokes about quarantine boredom, 'Tiger King' Trump faces mounting pressure to unleash Defense Production Act Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' 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 McCainJuan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal Ernst calls for public presidential campaign funds to go to masks, protective equipment President Trump is right — Now's the time for 'all hands on deck' 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 GrahamGraham: Pelosi comment on Trump is 'most shameful, disgusting statement by any politician in modern history' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus 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.