The 20th of February marked the Republican caucus of South Carolina. The result had been predicted by polls for a fair amount of time before, but what polls didn’t predict was another decrease in the number of candidates still in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. In light of poor performance in all previous states, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has decided to leave the race for the Republican nomination.
The third time wasn’t so lucky for the Bush family
The defeat for Jeb Bush must be all the more bitter considering how high his hopes were for the results in South Carolina. The state has long shown strong support for the Bush family, having given important victories in the primaries to both his father and his brother.
If anything, the former President’s brother’s defeat goes to show that any sympathy left for the Bush family is simply borne out of nostalgia, rather than faith in any political promises. Such a conclusion may also be enforced by the ineffectiveness of the campaign strategy employed by Jeb Bush – bringing former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush in to aid him.
Support for Jeb Bush at the beginning of his candidacy seemed to be at an incredible high, especially considering the material support that went into his campaign – roughly 150 million dollars. He was supposed to be the breath of fresh air needed by the GOP, expanding their electoral base by appealing to Latinos and shining a more humane light on conservative policy.
Donald Trump was just too much to deal with
The main obstacle in Jeb Bush’s way, throughout this entire campaign appears to have been the front-runner Donald Trump. Despite not being taken seriously when he first announced his candidacy, the New York real-estate tycoon quickly gained following among those dissatisfied with the federal government. One of his favorite campaign tools has been trading blows with his fellow candidates. For this role, the outspoken Jeb Bush appeared to be the ideal choice. Adding his fairly unimpressive stage performance to his constant need to defend himself from the boisterous millionaire’s remarks has definitely taken its toll on the former Governor’s campaign.
A question still remains in the wake of Jeb Bush’s dropout – who among the remaining prospective presidential candidates will he choose to support? Stakes are particularly high in Florida, where Donald Trump is in the lead, yet again. It appears, however, that with Jeb Bush dropping out of the race, young Marco Rubio’s chances of victory are on the rise.
A bit of love for Florida Senator Marco Rubio?
Even though the decision is one of high stakes, people close to the former candidate say that his mind has not yet been made up. For now, Marco Rubio seems like a strong candidate for Jeb Bush’s endorsement, and while not an obvious choice, John Kasich’s name has also been brought up in certain circles.
Perhaps one of the main conclusions to be drawn in light of Jeb Bush’s failure is that maybe voters have indeed become fed up with the traditional conservative approach to politics and that even though the establishment tried to brand Jeb Bush as a more progressive candidate, voters just saw a rebranding of the same old product. As former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan said for CNN – the rejection of Jeb Bush in South Carolina signals “the end of the Bush dynasty and the end of Bush Republicanism”.