A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of Iowa Republican voters released on September 22nd shows the GOP race still being dominated by political outsiders. Donald Trump continues to lead with 24 percent, to 17 percent for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and 13 percent for former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Behind the three candidates who have never held elected office, Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Marco Rubio (FL) round out the top five, each polling at 8 percent support.
Conspicuously absent from the lead pack is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Bush is tied for sixth place in Iowa with Mike Huckabee. Both men are polling just 6 percent in the Hawkeye state. Bush continues to hemorrhage support in Iowa. A month ago he was in fourth place at 11 percent, but in the past thirty days he has seen his support nearly cut in half.
Jeb hasn’t done himself any favors by reminding voters of his family connection with the failed presidencies of his brother and his father. While GOP voters are less likely than the general population to view George W. Bush’s presidency negatively, even they can become uneasy when Jeb says silly things about his brother “keeping us safe”.
Jeb Bush’s struggles in Iowa, and across the nation, are likely to continue, because Republican voters do not particularly like him. In Iowa, 40 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of Jeb Bush, compared to just 38 percent who hold a favorable opinion of him. With such tepid support from the party’s base, Jeb Bush has little room to grow.
The only candidate who saw a comparable decline in support in Iowa from August to September was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and he saw the writing on the wall and quit. Bush managed to stay one percentage point above the Scott Walker line in Iowa (Walker polled 5 percent in the PPP survey, which was conducted prior to his announcement that he was suspending his campaign).
However, unless Bush picks up momentum soon, he could be the next major Republican candidate to exit the race for lack of support. Given the direction his poll numbers are heading, it may not be long before we say good bye to Jeb Bush’s 2016 candidacy. Even Republican voters seem uninterested in another Bush presidency.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.