Jeb Bush has almost no chance of being the GOP nominee, owing to a near-complete lack of support from the GOP’s rank-and-file donors.
John Kasich, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and George Pataki also have almost no chance of being the GOP nominee, much less of winning the general election. That doesn’t mean it is impossible that one could do well in Iowa or New Hampshire. Nor does it mean that they should drop out, or that they are bad candidates, or that they might not have a significant effect through their presence on the nominating process. But from their early fundraising, it is clear that they will not have the grassroots support, money, or organization to win the general election, especially against what is still a very deep field.
Contrary to media narratives, Ted Cruz looks to be in the strongest position to win the nomination, given the fundraising data. The one major wild card in that analysis is Donald Trump, currently by far the leader in GOP polling. His support base overlaps in some ways with Cruz’s. He hasn’t fundraised actively, so it is difficult to draw firm conclusions, but it seems likely that he would be a very strong in both major-donor and grassroots fundraising. He looks like the favorite, but the party establishment, as well as a significant number of conservative activists, are set against him. He’s a unique candidate with unique positioning, and therefore he is uniquely challenging to quantify using traditional measurements.