The Corner

Politics & Policy

Jeb Bush’s Toxic Numbers

Two polls from the last couple of days, Quinnipiac in Iowa and Monmouth in New Hampshire, underline Jeb Bush’s struggles in this race. The numbers are simply terrible.  

In Iowa, 26 percent of Republicans say they definitely wouldn’t support him, roughly the same level as Trump. This opposition to Bush is stronger among Tea Partiers (41 percent), but exists broadly on the center-right of the party. 29 percent of very conservative voters wouldn’t support him, 29 percent of somewhat conservative voters wouldn’t support him.

His favorable-unfavorable is atrocious in Iowa, 33 favorable, 56 unfavorable. He is underwater among every ideological grouping, Tea Partiers (21–72), evangelicals (31–53), very conservatives (28–63), somewhat conservatives (38–55), and moderates (36–48).

In New Hampshire, where he is basically staking his campaign and has spent so much time and so many resources, his favorable-unfavorable rating is better, but only marginally so, 39–47 percent. As Monmouth notes this is the only net negative rating of any of the candidates. This rating is much worse than it was back in July, when Bush was at 47 favorable and 37 percent unfavorable, and worse than in November when he was still in slightly positive territory, 44–42.

Bush is banking on a strong finish in New Hampshire bringing an infusion of new resources amid an effort to stop Trump and/or Cruz and getting him a second look from voters. But Bush doesn’t just need a second look; at this point, he needs a complete transformation in how he is regarded by the party.  

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