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 RubioPeace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback Lawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela USDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid MORE to be the GOP's establishment choice to take on Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz 'impresses' his daughter with Chris Evans meeting Three Senate primaries to watch on Super Tuesday The advantage of paying for medical care directly 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 McCainEleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock Biden on Graham's push for investigation: 'I don't know what happened' to him 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 GrahamUS defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation 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.