The following pretty much nails why Jeb isn’t replicating the success of Mitt Romney and doesn’t seem very likely to in the future, either.
In 2016, the insurgents are not Bush alternatives, said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray. Worse, they’re indifferent to him.
“If there’s a sense that you’re the person that they need to pit someone against, that suggests you have a strong base of underlying support,” Murray said.
“But Donald Trump and Ben Carson aren’t ‘anyone but Bush’ candidates. They’re tapping into an entirely different mindset in which Bush is irrelevant. In 2012, it was always Romney and someone who is not Romney. We’re not having that conversation about Jeb, and that speaks volumes.”
And Romney always had an ace-in-the-hole.
“Romney had New Hampshire in his back pocket the whole time,” Robinson said.
Romney, from neighboring Massachusetts, held a double-digit lead in New Hampshire throughout. He was guaranteed at least one victory in a carve-out state.
Bush has no such guarantees. He is in sixth place in Iowa and fourth place in New Hampshire, which many believe is a must-win state for him. Even if he could wait it out to Florida’s primary on March 15, he’s behind in the polls Trump and Carson in his home state.
I recently did a brief post in which I said that I keep forgetting that Jeb is even a candidate. I wasn’t making that up. He really seems like an afterthought. And it’s not just because he isn’t getting the kind of press coverage (or scrutiny) that you’d expect. There’s just a sense that he’s the wrong person at the wrong time and there isn’t any need to discuss him because he truly has nothing to say that anyone cares about.
I keep hesitating to declare him dead politically because he has a lot of money and Establishment support and the alternatives look riskier for the Republicans. There’s a history of Republicans flirting with more conservative candidates before falling in line for the Establishment choice. But, as this cited article points out, Jeb isn’t in the same position as previous Establishment candidates. He’s far, far weaker.
Maybe he’ll be the “Joyful Tortoise” who keeps a slow, steady, unexciting pace and outlasts his more flamboyant competitors, but it’s looking more and more like he’ll need the rabbits to get run over by a truck or something.
I don’t think he has what it takes.