Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina?

posted at 10:41 am on January 18, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

If that title sounds a tad bit disingenuous, well… that’s because it is. We don’t have a new frontrunner in South Carolina (or anywhere, for that matter) but the race for third place has seen a rather abrupt shakeup. According to the latest set of numbers out of the Palmetto State, Trump is still way out in front with 32 percent and Ted Cruz is sitting in a mostly comfortable second place with 18. But once you drop down below the two default leaders, things have taken a turn. (The State)

But the race is uncertain as a dozen Republican candidates remain active with the start of voting in a little more than two weeks in Iowa on Feb. 1. The New Hampshire primary follows on Feb. 9.

Bush placed third at 13 percent, his largest showing of support in South Carolina over the past 15 polls dating back to August, according to results compiled by Real Clear Politics. Bush placed fifth or sixth in all but one S.C. poll taken since late September.

He supplanted Marco Rubio of Florida, who came in fourth at 11 percent, and retired Maryland neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was fifth at 9 percent. Rubio leads Bush in most national and early-primary state polls.

The movement doesn’t seem to be coming at the expense of either Trump or Cruz, who are essentially holding steady at this point. As Streiff at RedState points out, the real loser here might be Marco Rubio.

The real news is in the race for third place. It looks like there are defections from Christie and Kasich that are ending up in the Jeb Bush camp.

The thing to keep in mind is that South Carolina has an open primary. The name of the game there will be GOTV. If, as many suspect, Trump’s poll numbers are buoyed by numbers of persons who haven’t voted regularly, this poll may be very, very soft. We’ll have a much better take on that after New Hampshire. The fact that Bush has increased his share of the vote from single digits into third place does not bode well for Rubio as those voters are probably established primary voters.

This is something for both the Trump and Cruz campaigns to keep an eye on, though I’m not talking exclusively about Jeb Bush here. Whether you’re looking at individual states or the national numbers, the top two are capturing a lot of the primary voting pie, but there are still a lot of potential votes scattered among the rest of this sizable field, as well as the soft supporters who may remain at least somewhat undecided until their own primary day draws near. It’s been an assumption from the beginning that “eventually” we’d see a lot of them drop out and the establishment vote would begin to crystallize around one challenger.

The problem is that eventually is taking its sweet time in coming. For the last month or so it seemed like the smart money was betting that the final establishment lane candidate would be either Marco Rubio or Chis Christie, but it’s hard to write off Jeb Bush entirely for that slot given the amount of money he’s still got behind him. Of course, this may wind up being a short term effect (restricted to South Carolina) of the cozy relationship between Bush and Lindsey Graham (who just endorsed him this weekend) but if those numbers start to stick he might still have a run at the big time.

The real question is whether or not there are enough votes left for for an establishment lane candidate to make it to 50%, even if everyone else dropped out. The South Carolina numbers aren’t all that much different from what we’re seeing around much of the rest of the nation. Nobody is at 50 by themselves, but Trump and Cruz combined are at or above the magic number. Neither of them are going to drop out any time soon with that level of support, but let’s assume that leaves 50ish percent of the vote in play. Could a Bush, Christie or Rubio really round up all of those votes without any of them defecting to either Trump or Cruz? If you think there’s a simple yes or no answer to that question I’d beg to differ. Yes, it’s true that Trump and Cruz are the consummate “anti-establishment” candidates so other voters may be looking for something familiar. That argues in favor of one of the 3rd place contenders getting to or near 50. But people are funny and some percentage of us always wind up preferring to back a winner even if they weren’t our first choice. I think the Trump / Cruz dynamic duo stands a good chance of vacuuming up some of those undecideds and the backers of some of the dead wood that eventually quits the race.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s true that we’re within a couple weeks of the actual first votes being cast, but this thing isn’t over by a long shot. Donald and Ted need to keep an eye in the rear view mirror. Object there may be closer than they appear.

JebWaves


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Comments

If farting is a sign of life, yes. . . .

Younggod on January 18, 2016 at 10:45 AM

It just keeps getting better!

kcewa on January 18, 2016 at 10:46 AM

Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina?

I’m not dead!

Rogue on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM

In a zombie sorta way.

viking01 on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM

If that title sounds a tad bit disingenuous, well… that’s because it is.

Disclaimers immediately after the headline. Awesome.

As Streiff at RedState points out, the real loser here might be Marco Rubio.

Jeb and Rubio are both losers. The only question is which one gets to be the most prominent loser.

Stoic Patriot on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Donald and Ted need to keep an eye in the rear view mirror. Object there may be closer than they appear.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say again; the “two man race” meme is bunk. Cruz especially is not that far out in front of the other candidates and his coalition is an unstable alliance between social conservatives, and anti-Trumpers who will back anyone that causes Trump problems.

Depending on who loses Iowa and by how much, I am expecting one of the two men to quickly start bleeding supporters and allowing Rubio or even Jeb to slide into second place.

Doomberg on January 18, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Dead cat bounce.

Next article concerning this on HotAir: “Second Look at (INSERT NAME HERE)?

orangemtl on January 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM

Depending on who loses Iowa and by how much, I am expecting one of the two men to quickly start bleeding supporters and allowing Rubio or even Jeb to slide into second place.

Doomberg on January 18, 2016 at 10:48 AM

pass me the bhang

Younggod on January 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM

A state that keeps electing Lindsey Graham to the Senate is going to have its share of voters who will follow their hero’s endorsement lead and vote for Jeb — or at least say they’re voting for Jeb. They might not be as solid after the Iowa and New Hampshire results.

jon1979 on January 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM

“A chicken in every pot.” – Hoover

“A refugee in every guacamole bowl.” – Jeb!

spec_ops_mateo on January 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina?

I was at a large social event this weekend – politics was the #1 conversation – nobody (nobody) spoke in favor of Jeb Bush.

Sample size – maybe 15 people I spoke with — Greenville SC

jake-the-goose on January 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Come Jan 2017 they will have to drag Jeb kicking and screaming out of the White House so the election winner can move in.

WryTrvllr on January 18, 2016 at 11:01 AM

At Hot Air, they are hoping….

h a p f a t on January 18, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Of course dying is a “sign of life”. Can’t die if you weren’t alive.

Flange on January 18, 2016 at 11:03 AM

What? Even a 1% glimmer of hope for Jeb is now a newsworthy material deserving a special article to discuss its very significant impact to this election season?

It’s becoming a laughable and pathetic situation already.

Poor Jeb. Oh sorry … Jeb, as member of Bush Clan, is still and will always be ultra-rich.

TheAlamos on January 18, 2016 at 11:04 AM

“It’s alive ! Alive !”

—– Dr. Frankenstein (Dr. Fronk-en-steen if you have New York “Values”)

viking01 on January 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM

Pining for the fjords.

ElectricPhase on January 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s true that we’re within a couple weeks of the actual first votes being cast, but this thing isn’t over by a long shot. Donald and Ted need to keep an eye in the rear view mirror. Object there may be closer than they appear.

We’ve had months and months of election strategy without a single vote being cast. Many of the tools that we have to analyze a campaign are imperfect, especially a complex affair such as the GOP primary. We need votes on the board to give us some kind of positive feedback — once people start voting, things will (finally) begin to move faster and we will have a better idea of the ultimate outcome.

Revenant on January 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Pining for the fjords.

ElectricPhase on January 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Beautiful plumage the Norwegian Bush.

Flange on January 18, 2016 at 11:08 AM

I don’t care if there’s proof of life, I still ain’t paying no ransom for a Boooosh.

platypus on January 18, 2016 at 11:09 AM

The Lindsey Graham effect!

Deano1952 on January 18, 2016 at 11:14 AM

Without Trump this race would have been between ¡Jeb!, Rubio and Walker most likely.

Redstone on January 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina?

Nope, just a twitch…death rattle. How sad.

arnold ziffel on January 18, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Pining for the fjords.

ElectricPhase on January 18, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Beautiful plumage the Norwegian Bush.

Flange on January 18, 2016 at 11:08 AM

He’s not dead, just low energy.

Athos on January 18, 2016 at 11:21 AM

In a zombie sorta way.

viking01 on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Heh!

bernzright777 on January 18, 2016 at 11:22 AM

3rd place is 2nd place loser.

What’s your point?

:-)

Agent Cooper on January 18, 2016 at 11:23 AM

I’ve said this before and I’ll say again; the “two man race” meme is bunk.

Doomberg on January 18, 2016 at 10:48 AM

This is either a two-man race, or it’s a one-man race.

If Cruz doesn’t manage to put these other also-rans away and steal a number of states from Trump in the process, this election will effectively be over by Super Tuesday.

Strangely, as we get closer to actual voting, Trump is emerging as the early presumptive nominee when at the same time, Hillary looks like she’s the candidate who’s not going to put her competition away until late.

Atlantian on January 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Alive? Like Walkers in Walking Dead are alive?

LaughterJones on January 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM

The Trump Cruz battle is going to give the others some room to move up in the polls.

They are both doing a good job on the other.
I’m Trump until/if he goes left. Trump doubled down on AGW being a scam , this morning, so he’s still strong.

But I’m not a shill and HA is how I get my rant on – since I have a “no politics” rule when I socialize.
So, I also have problems with Trump.

Trump’s NY values defense is starting to leave a bad taste. I know what I want Trump to say and he’s not saying it. The fact is, America LOVES a few things about NYC, it’s true, but they dislike a whole lot about NYC also.

The biggest thing is the – “NYers were the only ones after 911 who could have …” Mr. Trump and his advisors- Please cut that out of his talking points. It p*sses off everyone not in NY. It’s insulting. Hillary Clinton comes to mind as well.

Another thing is the national gun grabbing by Bloomberg. Nyers tend to push their liberal politics on the rest of the country.
The other is the barbaric practice of late term aborts which NYer’s tend to – IDK – like(?).
There are other associations that everyone knows. I love NYC in some ways but I wouldn’t suggest running on being a NewYorker. I’m sure there are other Trump supporter less supportive than me who are now waffling.

Anyway, it’s worst for Cruz. Cruz is looking like a divider and a jerk, which is not consistent with his holier than thou sister act(see whoopi goldberg) – I think it’s actually worst for Cruz than Trump. It might be good for Cruz in IA, we’ll see what the polls say but it is killing his brand nation wide. You can not be a prissy lawerly , and at the same time,fake preacher man and win the nomination. It’s like being 5ft tall. It doesn’t play in Peoria.

And if Bush, Rubio et al ever had a chance to make a move this would be it. If they can be the “uniter” than maybe maybe probably not but that slim opening is there.

BoxHead1 on January 18, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Insider/Advantage = Matt Towery = complete eGOP party hack

David in ATL on January 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Were some of the plastic turtles in Jeb’s pocket actually moving?

onlineanalyst on January 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM

jon1979 on January 18, 2016 at 10:54 AM

beat me to it…

HatfieldMcCoy on January 18, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Turns out he was “merely resting.”

Happy Nomad on January 18, 2016 at 11:42 AM

This should tell you everything you need to know about the establishment. As an unbiased observer (okay very biased but don’t support anyone mentioned here)

Jeb is “showing sign’s of life” by possibly finishing third in the third state…

Trump is never going to win despite his polling numbers.

The contradiction shows what all of the Pundits and Dems thought for so long. Bush was inevitable. They thought he just had to show up…

Now the race is between Trump and Cruz with no oxygen left for a third. Too bad, the establishment did this to themselves. Now they get to own it.

ThomasPaineandsuffering on January 18, 2016 at 11:53 AM

Its another
Wait for it
Hot Air Surge!!!

james23 on January 18, 2016 at 11:56 AM

Good. The longer Jeb stays in the race, the better for conservatives.

bw222 on January 18, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Next article concerning this on HotAir: “Second Look at (INSERT NAME HERE)?

Second look at Scott Walker?

Jazz Shaw on January 18, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina?

No, it’s just rigor mortis.

dominigan on January 18, 2016 at 12:04 PM

No, for that poll always has him higher than any others, for odd reason.

Schadenfreude on January 18, 2016 at 12:09 PM

I don’t understand this.

Instead of “signs of life” it ought to read ” Bush mafia still trying to by nomination”

Why these people ought to be treated any differently than the Clinton mafia is beyond me. Yet it’s almost impossible to find a conservative pundit who will describe it that way. This entire Wannabe 45 campaign has been nothing but Bush influence peddling.

Right to Rise is nothing more than a front for the Bush mafia. Lord knows who is getting rich off of it. It’s for sure conservative media won’t tell us…I know Murphy is, but there have to be others.

Conservative media hid from us that WH staffers were in the Senate office building because they didn’t want to taint there darling Rubio…their BHO. And now this…oh that Jeb…look how resilient and tough he is…

One way or the other, 2016 will be the end of this nonsense. The only question is whether there will be hope for the nation after its done.

EastofEden on January 18, 2016 at 12:26 PM

*buy nomination

EastofEden on January 18, 2016 at 12:27 PM

More like dead skunk stinks.

bgibbs1000 on January 18, 2016 at 12:31 PM

As Streiff at RedState points out, the real loser here might be Marco Rubio.

Jeb and Rubio are both losers. The only question is which one gets to be the most prominent loser.

Stoic Patriot on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Yup. Jazz should have titled this “Who will be the Biggest Loser?”.

whatcat on January 18, 2016 at 12:33 PM

As nice a guy as Jeb maybe, I don’t want to have to support another Bush presidency. However, I would take some glee in him actually beating Trump at some point in one of the primaries.

I’m not sure you could wipe the smile off of Jeb’s face if that happened (or mine).

Tater Salad on January 18, 2016 at 12:36 PM

I guess you could’ve wrote the same thing about Newt in 2012. But unlike Newt, Jeb’s not winning South Carolina.

Red Creed on January 18, 2016 at 12:53 PM

“Jeb Bush showing signs of life in South Carolina”
—makes sense:
Arizona – with national disgrace RINO-T^RDS McCain, Flake and Ducey is NO LONGER REPUBLICAN. So too is SC with RINO-T^RDS Grahamnesty and Haley. RINO Jeb fits right in with that crowd

MicahStone on January 18, 2016 at 1:14 PM

..o.k, o.k., joke all you want to guys but I do fear even this glimmer of hope. Back in 2008, there was the NYT and the other media “breathing life” into Stookie McCain’s moribund campaign such that he got the nomination and then did his Night of the Living Dead thing, letting The Dickless Pharaoh ascend to his throne.

It would not be above the GOPe and the liberal media to get out the paddles and pump about 10-20 amps through this assshole’s chest cavity in an effort to get a ripple out of his flatline.

(Hint to shcadenfreude and/or rogerb: please screen scrape and preserve in the archives for future use.)

The War Planner on January 18, 2016 at 1:17 PM

So 100 million can put a dent in the brains of voters and maybe help you finish 3rd? Who knew.

KMav on January 18, 2016 at 3:08 PM

This is really not surprising. After all, Graham was not at zero in SC and if some of his vote went to Jeb he would move up.

KW64 on January 18, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Any Hospice worker or Palliative Professional can tell you, they always show a burst of energy and life just before the end.

Stick a fork in it. As much as the GOPe keeps dreaming, nobody has any interest in another Bush. especially not a dull lifeless one.

patches on January 18, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

Inigo Montoya: What’s that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.</blockquote>

I think its time to go through Jeb!’s pockets.

E9RET on January 18, 2016 at 6:30 PM

The comic relief blog. 13%. Hilarious.

Carnac on January 18, 2016 at 8:15 PM