Jeb Bush has had a rough few months. He fumbled a question about the war in Iraq. He has not consolidated the support of Republican elites, as Nate Cohn notes. And he has not scared off other candidates who could hurt him in the primaries, like John Kasich. There is no clever case to be made that Mr. Bush’s campaign has actually performed well this spring.
But if we’ve learned one thing about presidential campaigns, it’s that most people who follow them overreact to short-term news. Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign had its share of gaffes. Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign lurched from one crisis to the next. George W. Bush endured a drunk-driving revelation in the final days of his 2000 campaign. Barack Obama seemed to dismiss guns and religion as opiates of the masses. All survived to win not only those campaigns but also re-election four years later.
So it’s worth noting that the prediction markets, which have a considerably stronger track record than most pundits, don’t view Mr. Bush’s last few months as especially damaging.