Thursday is October 1. Republican caucus and primary voters begin voting the first of February. Jeb Bush has suffered a big decline in the polls, losing, by the count of Wall Street Journal pollsters, 2/3 of his support nationally since June. (He was at 22 percent in that month’s Journal poll and seven percent in a new survey released Sunday.) Other polls show significant decline.
Donald Trump may be slipping, but he is still at the top of the GOP polls, with Ben Carson close, and both are ahead of Bush. Now Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are ahead of Bush, as well. The former Florida governor’s fundraisers are reportedly growing nervous at his lack of progress, hinting they may take their support to someone else if Bush doesn’t do better soon.
So what is Team Bush’s response? To project a sense of calm and imperturbability in the face of bad news. “The race is completely fluid — look at all the moving parts to date,” said close Bush aide Sally Bradshaw in an email exchange Sunday. “We don’t spend a lot of time worried about who is President of 2015.”
“The campaign is confident that a steady approach will yield results — that has been our plan from day one,” Bradshaw continued. “It has not changed. The more people learn about Jeb’s record as governor through our messaging, the more likely they will be to support the most committed conservative governor in the race — with a record of reform and results.”
Another aide at the highest level of the Bush campaign — Mike Murphy, who runs the Bush Right to Rise Super PAC — also addressed the issue Sunday. When I tweeted, “WSJ poll: Jeb support 1/3 what it was in June. Then: 22%. Now: 7%,” Murphy responded: “Early national polls are totally meaningless.” (Read more from “Bush: Don’t Worry, It’s Still Early, and We’ve Got Lots of Money” HERE)