Bush continues his fall
Presidential hopeful steadily drops in polls but should not drop campaign
Jeb Bush has a problem. The 2016 Republican candidate hopeful fell from second to fifth place in a recent New Hampshire poll and is now at seven percent in the critical state, according to a CBS News article.
Furthermore, Bush continues to fall nationally among Republicans. A Monmouth University poll released Oct. 20 polled Bush at five percent. Bush’s standing has fallen in every successive Monmouth poll since July, where he initially led the GOP field at 15 percent, making his current standing a full 10 points lower than when his campaign began.
“The money train may be chugging along for the Bush campaign, but the polling train has been steadily losing steam,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey, said in a statement accompanying the poll.
This has led Republicans to speculate about whether he is the next Sen. John McCain, who recovered from similarly low ratings to win the Republican nomination in 2008, or whether his
campaigning days are numbered.
But has one of the former GOP frontrunners fallen so far down in the ratings that he is unable to make a comeback?
Bush only recently began campaigning in New Hampshire and is “expected to surpass his $11.4 million second quarter fundraising total in the third quarter,” according to the CBS News article, but this does not necessarily mean that Bush can make a comeback.
Despite his current low ratings, these are both reasons why donors would still consider supporting his campaign and signal that he is not through yet and could still make a strong comeback like McCain. However, if Bush’s low ratings continue, he might not continue to have extensive campaign funds from donors who may decide to instead back a candidate they think would have a better chance.
It is absolutely possible for Bush to make a comeback, but he must first overcome some obstacles.
For many politicians, having a familiar last name can help with the campaign and public opinion. But for Bush, the surname may do more harm than good, according to the article.
Bush must also face the obstacle of his campaign skills if he is to make a comeback and win the Republican nomination. According to the article, major criticisms are “that Bush is stiff and sometimes goofy on the campaign trail, and that he is a weak debater.” Strong campaign skills and performances at debates are pivotal for a candidate’s success, and unless Bush decides to improve in these areas, he will not improve in the polls.
Bush has yet to fully start campaigning and advertising for his campaign, and he still has time to beat out other GOP candidates in New Hampshire such as Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich. A poor attempt at campaigning would completely botch Bush’s hopes of being nominated the Republican candidate, but if he is smart and spends his extensive campaign money wisely, he could have a very strong shot.
With the primaries in February still four months away, Bush still has time to increase his standing in the polls, as many voters are still considering who they will vote for at this early stage in the election process.
The “2012 exit polls showed that almost 40 percent of voters made up their minds in the final three days of the primary race,” the University of New Hampshire’s polling director, Andy Smith, told CBS News. “And 15-20 percent waited to make up their minds until Election Day.”
Polling results may currently look bleak for Bush, but if he changes some of his campaign strategies and has a stronger media image, then he has a chance to beat out other top GOP
contenders for New Hampshire.
DEPIERO is an opinion writer.