He has the Bush last name, the donors with deep pockets and people know who he is, but is Jeb Bush the strongest candidate in the soon to be crowded GOP primary? TPM’s Ed Kilgore argues that he isn’t even close to being the strongest candidate on the Republican side. First off Jeb Bush has been out of office since January 2007, that is roughly eight years. His last campaign was his re-election campaign for the governorship of Florida, back in 2002, over twelve years ago. Jeb Bush is without a doubt going to enter the race with more rust than any other candidate and this will be his first campaign in the digital and social media age.
Another factor that makes him weak is the current polling that has steadily been coming since Obama’s re-election in 2012. In every poll since the end of the 2012 election cycle that has pitted Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush hasn’t lead in a single one. On RealClearPolitics site he trails Clinton in polls by an average of 9%, which goes without saying is terrible, even if the election is two years away, it doesn’t inspire much hope in a GOP field that isn’t so excited about nominating a third Bush and many in the base see Jeb as a liberal Republican.
RealClearPolitics finds other GOP candidates average against Clinton to be much better than Jeb Bush. Rand Paul only does slightly better than Jeb Bush but both fail to but up better numbers than Paul Ryan who loses by 6%, Chris Christie by 7%, Mike Huckabee by 8%. The only person that is polling worse than Bush against Clinton is Senator Ted Cruz at 13%. Though for Ted Cruz he has room to possibly pass up Bush because unlike Bush, not everyone knows who Ted Cruz is. No GOP candidate so far comes close to beating Clinton at the moment.