Marco Rubio is just not catching fire in national polls or in Iowa and New Hampshire specifically. The Rubio moment in the media has been going on for at least a month on the logic that Rubio is acceptable to the Republican establishment and to many movement conservatives. He provides a young, Latino, telegenic, forward-looking contrast to Hillary Clinton. He even hails from Florida! And yet, he’s stuck at 10 to 12 percent, everywhere. Meanwhile, Chris Christie has gained a few points in New Hampshire. So has John Kasich.
If you were wagering on the Republican race, Jeb Bush is the best “value bet.” Everyone thinks he’s toast. But he still has a real shot.
As the panic over a Trump- or Cruz-led party putsch takes hold, Jeb can remind donors and even the conservative movement that he also hails from Florida. He can remind them that unlike Rubio, Christie, or Kasich, his super PACs are still absolutely loaded, and likely far more willing to spend their cash than Trump will be if the primary turns into a spending contest. Trump is a candidate many Republicans and conservative mandarins cannot abide. His victory would be a rebuke to them. Jeb has the resources and the reach within the party apparatus to grind out a race with Trump.