The South Carolina primary is in the rear view mirror for the republican candidates for president 2016. However, Jeb Bush took the bus(h) straight home after another disappointing result.
Basically, as we discussed prior to the primary the South Carolina republican primary was make or break for Jeb Bush – and he broke! After a ferocious campaign effort by Jeb Bush splashing out million of dollars on advertising, wheeling out his big brother George W Bush and even his mother all failed to pay off. Jeb Bush badly needed to at least tie up with Marco Rubio to have a way forward as the establishment candidate. Instead, Marco Rubio surged to an impressive 22% of the vote and a second place ahead of Ted Cruz – whilst Jeb Bush only just squeezed home a distant 4th place with 8%. Slightly ahead of John Kasich and Ben Carson.
Thus, Jeb Bush graciously suspended his campaign. Thanked his supporters. Went home. And turned the lights out for the Bush dynasty that has dominated American politics for decades.
Republican Primary Satire
Republican Primary Satire – Clown Car Parade
They started out with a colorful lineup of 17 hopeful Republican candidates for presidents. Since then all but 5 have dropped out. Donald Trump leads the race followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubi – with John Kasich and Ben Carson still in but hoping desperately for traction.
Welcome President Trump ?
Hillary Clinton looks like the democratic nominee to be. Bernie Sanders has gotten some traction with his far-left message, enthusiast youth supporting him and a fairly positive media coverage of his campaign. However, the Sanders numbers do not add up. He can stay in the race to get his message out, but it is basically more than difficult to see a path to victory for him. His base is too narrow. The states he has a chance of winning to few.
So, right now it is looking like Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton in the general election. However. Donald Trump is far from a certain winner of the primaries yet. As the field of candidates narrow he needs to pick up support from those dropping out – and he is not first in line for it. Fivethirtyeight had an analysis showing him doing extremely poorly as second choice – meaning, he is less likely to pick up the majority of say the now homeless Jeb Bush voters, whereas Marco Rubio is in a better position to do so and thus closing the gap to Trump.
Much depends on Ted Cruz. He is very unlikely to actually win the nomination. He has a solid core of support among very conservative voters, evangelicals and so forth. But Trump eats into his base. And it is too narrow to begin with. But Ted Cruz is unlikely to drop out anytime soon – and when he does, where do his voters go ?
For now its all unknown. But a first clue will be found in the next contests. Does Rubio add approximately the volume of Jeb Bush´ to his column or are they going somewhere else? Does John Kasich gain traction or is he about to drop out too? Does Donald Trump break the 40% barrier ?
Time will tell. From what I see the field is narrowing too slowly and Donald Trump grabs solid portions of too many groups to make him an easy one to overtake – and Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson are simply spoilers in a game that favors Donald Trump. If I was Donald Trump i would hurry up and send the Kasich super PAC a few million dollars, just to keep him going beyond super tuesday.
President Trump ? The Clinton vs Trump match up in polls are more less tied. Slightly tilting to Clinton usually. But, that is before the Republican party has to rally behind their nominee – even if his name is The Donald! Once that happens he might well have a shot at winning. Hillary is not a strong candidate and Trump has many sore points he can shamelessly attack.Read more
Jeb Bush made a final play for getting momentum in what has been an incredibly difficult campaign for him. He has been in the crowded establishment field all along. But with a clear advantage – money! Jeb Bush has unlimited funds in his campaign and Right To Rise super PAC, but despite pouring millions of dollars into New Hampshire and Iowa.
Now the time has come for the South Carolina primary. And yet again Jeb Bush is spending big. Campaigning hard. And trailing in 4th or 5th in the polls. Way behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in 1st and second but worse, in most polls he is behind his competitor for establishment candidate Marco Rubio. In a few polls he has even trailed a John Kasich notoriously ill fitted for South Carolina.
With all this in mind Jeb Bush made his final play: George W Bush ! After years away from the spotlight president 43 joined his little brother for a rally in South Carolina – along with Laura Bush by the way. For the occasion George W. Bush gave one of the most inspired and humorous speeches I ever remember from him, the crowds were huge and happy, Jeb Bush seemed more energized than ever during campaign and the whole vibe made you think – could Jeb be this seasons comeback kid ?
In fact he could! On average Jeb Bush is 3-5% behind Rubio in the polls. And the comeback requires only a third place ahead of Marco Rubio. After such a third place Jeb Bush could get his supporters to start calling for Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson to drop out. To narrow the field and accumulate moderate support. Trump and Cruz? Well they will come 1st and 2nd but that will actually only help Jeb Bush in a comeback effort as it makes moderates and establishment GOPs all the more eager to unite against the two frontrunners.
But if Jeb Bush comes 4th or 5th in South Carolina its lights out. Maybe he wont admit it instantly. Maybe he will battle on through super tuesday. But he wont be the republican nominee and he will be the one called upon to drop out.Read more