Jeb Bush may not be able to count on South Carolina like his father and brother did.
According to Politico,
the electorate in the first primary state in the South is more conservative and less likely to line up solidly behind the moderate Bush — with support "neither as wide nor as deep as he might have hoped."
"There’s going to be some resistance to a Bush III here," Fred Payne, a member of the Greenville County Council who backed George W. Bush and is now uncommitted, tells Politico.
"Jeb’s a good guy. He’s got a great family name, but I really think America is ready for a fresh name. We’ve got such a great stable of candidates."
And that's a problem, Politico notes, with the presidential buzz at the grass roots focusing on neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each traveled to South Carolina last Saturday for a national security conference outside Columbia, Politico reports.
Also dogging Bush is that key players of past campaigns have pulled up stakes to sign on with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Politico reports, including Warren Tompkins, a top South Carolina strategist on both the 1988 George H.W. Bush and the 2000 George W. Bush campaigns; former business partner Terry Sullivan; and Heath Thompson, George W. Bush’s South Carolina state director in 2000.
The state of affairs is nothing like the juggernaut the late Lee Atwater put together for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and that remained solid for George W. Bush in 2000, Politico notes.
But South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has thrown a monkey wrench into the alliance, Politico reports, by announcing he's exploring a 2016 run.
"I’m going to stick with [Graham] as long as he stays in it," Eddie Floyd, a surgeon who was a top fundraiser for the two previous Bush campaigns, tells Politico.
"He’s got a tremendous amount of support in South Carolina."
David Wilkins, the former speaker of the state House who served as ambassador to Canada during Bush’s second term, is also with Graham, even though he conceded he has "great respect and love for the Bush family."
"I don’t know that everyone supporting Lindsey Graham would [otherwise] support Jeb Bush, but there are a lot of us," he tells Politico. "You’ve got to wait and see whether Lindsey pursues this all the way or not."
Greenville, S.C., tea party member Don Rogers predicts Bush will "fade away."
"Forget Jeb Bush," Rogers tells Politico. "He’ll never have the base. So, by definition, he’s a loser. He scares me to death. The most frightening thing in politics is moderates. You don’t know what they’re going to do."
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