Jeb Bush may skip Iowa in 2016, sources say

“If they wanted to play aggressively in Iowa, why would they take the best strategist in Iowa and move him to Miami?” the Bush-aligned operative said, referring to veteran Des Moines-based strategist David Kochel, who was tapped in January to run the national campaign out of its South Florida headquarters.

According to the two Republicans who were briefed on the broad points of the campaign’s primary strategy, Bush’s political advisers believe his steadfast support for Common Core education standards and softer immigration policies will make it incredibly difficult for him to woo the conservative caucus-goers, who tend to favor more combative figures like Iowa’s 2012 victor Rick Santorum, or Mike Huckabee, who won in 2008.

“Common Core has become an anchor tied around this guy’s neck… and they realize it,” said the political consultant, who met with senior Bush advisers while he was considering joining the campaign. “I think it’s partly [media consultant Mike] Murphy telling him, ‘You need to be the iconoclast,’ and I think it’s partly just where Jeb is philosophically.”