3. He is a proven winner in a swing state
I can’t think of anything scarier to a voter than putting up a candidate who they’re not sure what they’re going to say next. That’s why former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich couldn’t last in 2012. It’s why Anthony Weiner’s campaign is falling apart in 2013. Voters like to know what’s coming.
This is especially the case after Romney decided to open his mouth when he thought the general wasn’t listening and uttered his infamous 47% line. Romney had only had won a statewide office once and left the state with approvals that only a masochist could enjoy.
Bush was governor of a large state for eight years and won easily both times. You can argue that he’s flip-flopped between a pathway to citizenship or legal residency for undocumented immigrants, but he has no real skeletons of which I’m aware. Besides, his immigration flip is far smaller than being pro-choice and pro-life like Romney.
You can see how well Bush did in Florida by looking at the numbers. He has an impressive +21 net favorable rating among all voters in Florida, which is higher than any elected official in the state. That’s unchanged from his net approval rating during his final year in office. His net favorable among Republican is +81, higher than the very high Marco Rubio.