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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — As candidates gear up for a new year of campaigning and polling in February, Jeb Bush is not undaunted by the polls that show him trailing in New Hampshire and the rest of the country.

CBS4’s Jim Defede sat down with the former Florida Governor who said he has put everything into his campaign and isn’t ready to throw in the towel.

“I have given my heart and soul and that’s why I think I’m gonna win,” said Bush.

Despite the assurances, his campaign has suffered a series of self-inflicted wounds with shaky performances in both debates and on the campaign trail. When asked what it felt like to have the expectations he was faced with, Bush offered a sense of humility.

“I didn’t like the expectations built around me. I always knew it was gonna be hard. I’ve never said that I was the front-runner. I said I was really uncomfortable with it. It’s always humbling to run for office if you do it the right way. It is invigorating at the same time,” Bush responded.

It’s Bush’s optimism that has kept him going.

“I have enough confidence in my ability. I’m a pretty competitive guy. I view this as an incredible privilege and honor to be a candidate and to be able to express views on how we’re supposed to fix these things. I love interacting with people that’re desperately looking for leadership.”

Bush admits that the speed of campaigning, with the internet and social media, has changed the nature of races today.

“The immediacy of communication now… and frankly, the vulgarity of it. I mean, people in the most anonymous setting can say the most amazing things. I don’t read my Twitter feed ’cause it’s mainly a bunch of Trump trolls that say ugly stuff.”

With little support in Iowa, Bush is now investing heavily in New Hampshire, hoping to emerge as the establishment alternative to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

“We have the resources. I have the resolve to stick through this. This is a crazy year,” Bush quipped. “It’s a different kind of political year. And the way the calendar works creates a ‘last guy standing’ that may be the nominee.”

Bush is not giving into the criticism or chaos and says we’ll certainly see him back in Florida on March 15th.

“Oh yeah, you sure will.”

Although he’s not drawing big crowds, he is winning converts. And though it may be tough winning them one at a time, it’s exactly what Bush plans to do.

Jim DeFede

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