Skip to comments.Jeb Bush’s Biggest Constituency, the Press, Sees Him as GOP’s 2016 Christie Alternative
Posted on 01/19/2014 5:24:16 PM PST by SoConPubbie
With Chris Christie ostensibly knocked off his perch as the early frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, the search is on to find an alternative that is acceptable to both conservative and moderate GOP primary voters. At least, thats what the political press would have you to believe.
Appearing on CNNs The Lead with Jake Tapper, USA Today political reporter Susan Page was asked for her take on one possible substitute for Christie that will bridge the divide that exists between conservative tea party voters and the GOPs moderates. The most likely contender at this early stage of the 2016 election cycle who may fit that bill, Page says, is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
If he runs, how formidable do you think hed be? Tapper asked.
I think hed be tremendously formidable, Page replied, because he’s one of those candidates one of those rare candidates that is acceptable to the most conservative faction of the GOP, but also very well-liked by the establishment.
Do you think the tea party likes him? Tapper asked.
I think he is acceptable to the tea party forces in a way that Chris Christie will never be, Page asserted. He is, in almost a unique way, able to kind of bridge the divide that we see in the Republican Party today.
This is interesting analysis and, if Bush has emerged as a potentially competitive 2016 GOP candidate, it would be fair to call it a political earthquake. So why arent more people talking about the Jeb juggernaut barreling toward 2016? Well, it could be that Page is providing CNNs audience with a subjective assessment of Bushs potential.
The race for the 2016 GOP nomination is fluid, and will only become more so as the fallout surrounding bridge-gate is fully absorbed by the party’s electorate. But there is plenty of data available to parse in order to evaluate whether Pages assertion about Bushs ability to emerge as the partys nominee in three years has merit.
Of the last four polls measuring the state of the GOP race, Christie remains the top dog. Of those polls, all taken of registered voters from December 3 to January 14, Christie maintains a 3 to 5-point lead over his nearest competitor. Real Clear Politics pegs shows him with a 5.7 percent average lead over the field of potential GOP candidates.
But lets dig a little deeper into the polls. Of the most recent surveys of the 2016 Republican field that provide a breakdown of subgroups, the most recent a Public Policy Polling survey taken from December 12 to 15 shows that Bush is the second least popular candidate among very conservative voters in a field of 9 possible candidates. The former Florida governor nets just 6 percent support. Only Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ranks behind Bush with 2 percent support among very conservative voters.
But that field included the arch conservative former Arkansas governor and television host Mike Huckabee. If one removes Huckabee from the equation, Bush does gain some support among conservative voters precisely 1 percent. In that scenario, he rockets from an anemic 6 to a slightly more healthy 7 percent support with very conservative voters.
While that survey did find Bush with a much higher favorability rating among very conservative Republicans than Christie (Bushs 50 percent to Christies 34 percent), the poll showed rather definitively that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and even Christie are preferable to Bush among very conservative Republicans. This data is valuable because these voters are the least likely to be moved significantly by the bridge-gate scandal.
A Quinnipiac University survey taken from December 3 – 9 does not offer us insights into the very conservative mind, but it does break GOP voters down by gender. Quinnipiac offers us perhaps the most surprising findings.
In that poll, Bush enjoys the support of 11 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning men and 11 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning women for a grand total of 11 percent support. While Christie receives 17 percent support in that poll, the vast majority of his support comes from women at 21 percent compared to just 14 percent from men.
This should shock precisely because both candidates have made education reform, an issue that women respond to, the centerpiece of their political identity. For Bush, reforming the education system is comprehensive, holistic, and inclusive. It has won him accolades from the hosts of MSNBCs Morning Joe and President Barack Obama. Christie, too, has reformed the education system in New Jersey in a far more confrontational fashion. His government took control of a variety of underperforming urban school districts and severely curtailed the power of New Jerseys teachers unions, even in the face of aggressive protests. Thats precisely the kind of thing that should turn women off, even Republican women. It has not.
This indicates that both very conservative voters and moderate voters in the GOP do not regard Bush as an especially attractive candidate, at least not today. But these surveys were taken before any of the details involving the George Washington Bridge closures became national news. The only recent survey an NBC News/Marist University poll taken from January 12 14 — shows Christie dropping slightly in the field of conservatives, though he still leads the pack. But that poll also shows Bush dropping from his December, 2013 plateau of 10 percent support among conservatives to just 8 percent support.
Anything can happen in three years, and even Page would likely concede that making definitive statements about the field of prospective candidates this far out is unwise, but surveying the available data is a far sight more informative when discussing the 2016 primaries than consulting your gut for its opinion and presenting its grumblings as fact.
[Photo via screen grab]
If you want on/off this ping list, please let me know!
They only like the RINO until the primaries are over.
Gotta give the press credit, they know how to make the GOP run around in circles waiting for their endorsements of losers.
The moment he sews up the nomination is the moment the legacy media will take their knives out.
Bush let the communists starve Terri Schiavo to death
Hes got no chance in hell
He is not acceptable under any circumstances. He is an open borders backstabber and frankly if had my choices I would prefer Christie over him.
fat rino or thin rino. i’ll take neither, thanks.
think harder gop.
Of course they know this.
Question is, will the GOP allow the MSM to choose their candidate for them - again.
To ask the question is to answer it.
Fat chance. No Bushes.
Bush is better than Christie.
He’s better than Romney.
He’s a pro-life moderate.
He has been pro-life his entire political career, iirc.
He also seems pro-amnesty
That’s a deal killer.
Stay out da Bushes. DOA.
Jeb Bush....NJFatboy....man what a depressing lineup.
He also seems pro-amnesty
Thats a deal killer.
I think he’s beyond “amnesty” and has an innate belief that the borders should be wide open for our Mexican neighbors. I wouldn’t trust this creature one bit.
Stay out da Bushes. DOA.
I agree—there are poisonous snakes lurking in the Bushes.
This is a joke...right.
Huckie was busy gushing all over Mitch McConnell this weekend.
Boy, they sure love to pick our candidates, don’t they? Says more about how weak-tea the Democrat candidate consistently is. If the conservative Republican running “can’t win,” why don’t the media never hype them up?
There is no "moderate" position on abortion.
You're either pro-life, or pro-death.
Outrageous!!! No Democrat or Independent or Conservative will EVER vote for another Bush. (I guess that’s why the GOP-e will foist him upon us.
Sir, when you say Jeb Bush is better than Mitt, Christie, et al., are speaking as an MSNBC commentator or, perhaps, as the lesser of three RINOs?
I agree that he’ll be like his brother on amnesty.
However, he’s pro-life was my point. As you recall last primary season, we got down to Romney or anyone else. Bush would’ve been an anyone else at that time.
The GOP has too many open primaries. They own the party processes. They WILL NOT permit a conservative to win their nomination.
I’m not convinced that a mass rebellion at a convention would make a difference to them. I really sense that they just WON’T allow it.
Remember him arguing in favor of amnesty because immigrants were more fertile?
I didn’t say he was moderate on pro-life.
He’s a pro-life moderate, not a moderate pro-lifer.
The less repugnant of 3 rinos....what it boiled down to last election...but we got Romney anyway.
I’ll vote for Hillary twice before I vote for another Bush.
The media has jumped the shark nuking Christie so early. Jeb Bush isn’t going to take hold among Republicans, and now the field is anybody’s game, opening an opportunity for someone to rise to the top.
Too clever by half. Thanks MSM!
The GOP is pissing against the wind. Bush would be a guaranteed loser.
The press told us over and over that John McCain was the only republican that could win in a general election in 2008. They got their wish.
Jeb is POS and no more Bush family members again.
And prefer neither of the those two.
Guess they want the GOP to lose. Again.
Crazy, right? How is that suppose to change my mind?
Pro-Life is one of the BIG ISSUES, but so is amnesty, drugs and the homo agenda. I am not a one issue voter, but any one issue can turn me off from voting for a candidate
If you want a presidential candidate who is a social, fiscal, and defense conservative, I’m fairly convinced you will have to go outside the republican party.
Then that is what I will probably do, otherwise I will have no candidate... (again)
(Insert Jeb's tagline softening conservatism here)
Why can't Republicans stand and make the case for true conservatism?
GW called himself a “compassionate conservative”. He was solidly pro-life, so I voted for him both times.
I’d call him a moderate now after time to think about it.
Nonetheless, a lot of us conservatives voted for him, and almost went to war for him over hanging chads.
I ain’t voting for Jeb Bush. He supports Communist Core, open borders, and he let Terri Shiavo die.
"If we can't find more than two or three families to run for higher office, that's silly, because there are great governors and great people eligible to run," she said in the interview taped last fall and set to air Monday as part the cable channel's series on first ladies. "There are a lot of ways to serve and being president is not the only one, and I would hope that someone else would run."
"With a dollop of sugar, she said there was no doubt in her mind "that Jeb is the best-qualified person to run for president." But, she underlined, "I hope he won't."
"It is not the first time she has splashed cold water on the notion of a Bush presidential trilogy. In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, timed to coincide with the opening last spring of her son George W. Bush's presidential library, the former first lady said, "We've had enough of Bushes."
I don’t see how he had any choice in the matter. Hes just a governor not a dictator. Florida law don’t allow otherwise, nor would you or I think it should.
We are going to have to accept a lot of “deal-killers” if we are to accomplish anything.
Right now the Demos have setup an electorate that needs to be told one thing even as they need something completely different done.
We have a few major issues we can run on from Their war on the young:
to massive government dysfunction, all of which have a small government solution in implementation. But as you yourself no doubt know, we can’t get that message thou the Leftist media filters so we have to sell them one the left can at least acknolage even as we plan to do something very much more practical.
What we need is something of a Trogan horse, for the left to allow people to hear about.
“Why can’t Republicans stand and make the case for true conservatism?”
Because there aren’t enough real men in this country to support that.
Look what has happened to our boys over the last generation or so:
We no longer have the male numbers to respect hard truths.
If the GOP runs Jeb...the DNC just runs commercials of “Bush Presidents”...and its over for the GOP
Bush supports Illegal Alien Amnesty, Open Borders, and wimped out on Terri Schindler Schiavo. The Dems would love to run against Jebbediah