WSJ/NBC poll: 75% of Republicans now say they could support Jeb Bush, tops among all candidates

Three months ago just 49 percent said so. There’s your daily reminder that as political media and its barnacles, like yours truly, obsess about Jeb’s Iraq answer and whether his Super PAC’s going to raise $100 million after all, the great bulk of the party is only now beginning to tune in and saying, “What, another Bush? Eh. Okay.”

I wonder when the base will finally get a nominee that it actually likes. Over/under is 2032.

Three-quarters of GOP primary voters say they could see themselves supporting Mr. Bush or Mr. Rubio, a significantly larger share than for any other contender…

When presented with six election developments that might raise concerns, only 4% of all poll respondents said their top worry was that “too many people from the same families are running as have run in the past,” a concern that might also apply to Democrat Hillary Clinton. The top concern was that “wealthy individuals and corporations will have too much influence over who wins,” a worry expressed more by Democrats than by Republicans…

A broad set of GOP primary voters say they are considering Messrs. Bush and Rubio for the nomination. The two men rank No. 1 or No. 2 in potential support among socially conservative voters, who account for half of the GOP electorate, and gun-rights backers, who account for two-thirds. They also lead among self-described conservatives and those who identify themselves as moderates or liberals.

Jeb Bush, the conservative choice, huh? (Among self-identified tea partiers, he lags behind Rubio, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz.) Interestingly, although Rubio’s neck and neck with Jeb when Republicans are asked who they could see themselves supporting, he’s only third in the field when they’re asked who their first choice is. Bush leads with 22 percent, then Scott Walker at 17, then Rubio at 14 — and remember, Walker hasn’t formally announced yet. Part of Jeb’s big bounce in this poll may be due to the positive buzz he got after finally declaring his candidacy; Walker may be the next to bounce as those now-tuning-in Republicans are formally introduced to him. The fact that Rubio’s stuck behind Walker even though he’s universally liked among the party’s different wings makes me wonder if too many GOPers won’t end up seeing him more as an ideal VP than as a potential nominee. He’s Kennedy-esque, but charismatic fortysomething first-term senators don’t play as well now as they did seven years ago. Especially when you’ve got two guys with solid records as executives competing with him.

In case you’re not already depressed that Jeb is north of 20 percent and ahead of the field, this ought to do it. Alternate headline: “American experiment ends.”

Just three-in-10 American voters – 31 percent – say they’re dissatisfied about the possibility that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush could be the general-election nominees in 2016, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

By comparison, a combined 67 percent of voters are either “very,” “fairly” or “somewhat” satisfied about that prospect – but the tepid “somewhat” is the larger number here…

But there is a party difference here: 56 percent of Democratic primary voters say they’re either “very” or “fairly” satisfied with this, versus just 34 percent of Republican primary voters who say this.

Huh. Not that surprising, I guess — Republicans have already elected two Bushes so they’re more likely to have Bush fatigue than Democrats are to have Clinton fatigue. The Clinton brand isn’t nearly as much of an albatross in the general election as the Bush brand is either. Maybe there’s some residual trauma from 1992 at work as well: The Clintons and Bushes have vied for the presidency once before, after all, and it didn’t work out so well for the right. Or maybe there’s just more of an anti-dynasty impulse on the right at this point than there is on the left. If that’s so then Hillary’s doing the GOP’s anti-Jeb factions a favor by running. The more likely it seems that she’ll be the Democratic nominee, the more that reality may turn some fencesitters against Bush in the GOP primary.

Exit question: How happy are you that polls like this one will play an enormous role in deciding who makes it into the debates this summer? Don’t answer until you’ve read these:

Two percent, or five people, could be the decisive margin for the 10th spot onstage in August — and that’s well within the margin of error for polls like this. Why not just flip a coin?