|One Jennifer Rubin has a nightmare (Bad Dreams, 1988), the other one has a daydream.|
His main challengers in New Hampshire — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — have $2.6 million and $1.4 million cash on hand respectively, and as of now in the national RealClearPolitics average are below the 2.5 percent threshold for the next debate.That's his main challengers for fifth place? I believe he has that just about sewn up.
I think it should be clear by now that JEB!'s challenge in New Hampshire is fourth place, for the loyalty of the 30% or so of Republican voters who are, as David Brooks would say, "interested in governing". (I don't count Cruz and Paul supporters in that group, though I suppose they are interested in exercising power, not the same thing.) More like 20% for the national party. And basically one rival, Marco Rubio, who has roughly the same amount of cash on hand as Bush does (a bit more if you count money reserved for the general election, a bit less if you don't).
In many ways, Bush right now is where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was in 2008 — but with $100 million in a super PAC. In 2008, McCain’s campaign blew its money, and McCain, with lowered expectations, survived Iowa and went to New Hampshire to win over voters with his ubiquitous town hall appearances.At no point in 2007-08, though, was anybody like Trump, Carson, or Fiorina even in contention; McCain was running against conventional Republicans like Rodolfo Giuliani, Fred Thomson, and Willard Mitt Romney, rarely below third place and never below 10%. And McCain had some kind of insurgent momentum, as somebody who clearly thought the Republican incumbent (George W) was an idiot and a dick. And the press adored him.
This year supporters of Trump, Carson, and Fiorina, people whose thinking seems totally disconnected from government as we know it, the Beavis and Butt-Head caucus, are in the majority of the party voters, Bush has been under 10% for two solid months (and in fifth place for three weeks) at this point, and the only things anybody knows about him are that he doesn't seem to hate immigrants or the Common Core and he's George W's brother. (And if Bush has the $100-million superPAC, Rubio is quietly gathering billionaires with his plan to eliminate taxes on investment income because the current system isn't regressive enough.)
|McCain Gallup favorability 2000–early 2008 hit a brief low point in July 2007, but by this point in the cycle was well on his way to recovery, and always in unambiguously positive territory.|
|JEB! aggregate favorability since February 2013, always underwater and getting worse. Where Rubio has consistently had the highest favorability ratings of any Republican throughout (can't find a chart).|
Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog. Update: While I wasn't looking, Gary Legum at Salon came up with the dead parrot theme ahead of me, and BooMan disagrees, with some solid reasons. But they haven't got Jennifer!