While Jeb Bush jumped into the GOP presidential race with a bang, his tepid poll numbers show the disparity within the Republican party itself as few, if any, likely candidates are dazzling voters now, The Washington Post reported
Bush grabbed high early interest in December when 63 percent of Republicans said they could see themselves supporting him. Now that number, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, is just 49 percent as his Florida counterpart Marco Rubio claims the top spot in the hearts of GOP voters — today at least.
The Journal noted
in its coverage that Bush could face what it described as a "Romney-style" challenge not unlike 2012. "In that race, Republican primary voters cycled through a long list of alternatives – businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – before eventually giving the nod to Mr. Romney."
Such changes serve to expose competing interests and no real star contender like Hillary Clinton is expected to be for Democrats, the Post noted.
"Republican voters these days are much more contrarian – much quicker to find flaws with their candidates," writes the Post's Aaron Blake in assessing the early map of candidate support. He noted the fickle nature of how GOP voters feel about their current slate of likely candidates.
"Bush did a smart thing by jumping in the race early and forcing out Mitt Romney. But in today's Republican Party, being the early frontrunner might not be the best position," Blake wrote.
The Journal also noted that it remained early and that Bush continued to notch a top spot among front-runners, even as his numbers have fallen off.
"It could be that Mr. Bush's early 2015 slide stabilizes or even reverses itself in the next few surveys. Or, perhaps, Republican primary voters will take a second or third look at him when it matters more – when primaries start in 2016," the Journal said.
A Real Clear Politics 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination polling average
, taken from Jan. 25 through March 4, had Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leading the pack with 16.2 percent support while Bush followed closely with 15.8. Rubio was far behind with 4.8 percent.
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