Thursday, February 4, 2016

Jeb Bush’s Last Stand

February 9 will be a vital day for Jeb Bush. On that day, when the New Hampshire primary is held, he will have to show the GOP establishment that his cause is not dead. The surprisingly strong performance by Marco Rubio has propelled him to the position of one of the leading contender for Republican nomination. A strong performance in New Hampshire will surely do him good. However, he could afford to drop a few points behind. Jeb Bush cannot.
Jeb Bush (Pic by Gage Skidmore)

Despite strong showing by Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush still has a national-wide network which he could utilize to rival any candidate from the Republican Party in the long run. Therefore, unlike the other contenders like Governor Christie and Governor Kasich, Jeb Bush can go the long distance, and could return to the position of being the favorite of the establishment.

To do so, he has to deliver at New Hampshire.

Marco Rubio has already received the endorsement of South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. This is a key victory for Rubio, given that Jeb Bush was actively seeking Scott’s endorsement. Scott’s backing has given the impression that Rubio would do well in South Carolina, one of the early-primary states. Therefore, Bush has to do well in New Hampshire to make the establishment think again.

However, Bush is finding it hard to create enthusiasm, especially in a contest which had seen ugly accusations and fiery speeches flying around. In the initial stages of the contest, as one of the serious contenders for nomination, Bush was the target of some of the most vitriolic attacks from Donald Trump. It has not gone well for Bush since then.

It is not getting any better for Bush in New Hampshire. While polls can be deceptive to a certain degree, they show that Trump is leading in New Hampshire while Bush is lingering at around 10 percent. His predicament was best seen recently, when he had to ask a crowd to “please clap”.

It is likely that Bush’s campaign will falter after February 9.

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