Daniel Doherty

As if his emphatic support for both Common Core and amnesty wasn’t hard enough for conservatives to swallow, a recent Rasmussen poll indicates that Jeb Bush might have a serious problem on his hands if he runs for president in 2016. Namely, 50 percent of likely voters say they’re “less likely” to vote for him for reasons beyond his control:

Fifty percent (50%) of Likely U.S. Voters said in a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey last month that they are less likely to vote for Jeb Bush for president in 2016 because his father and brother have already served in the White House.

Fourteen percent (14%) said the Bush family's presidential legacy makes them more likely to vote for the former Florida governor. Thirty-four percent (34%) say it would have no impact on their voting decision. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Clearly, there are other matters Jeb must also consider before making up his mind. For example, Politico reported earlier in the week that family issues will almost certainly impact his decision:

Republican donors and operatives are chattering about Bush’s publicity-shy wife, so worried she isn’t on board with a 2016 White House run that they’re urging people in the family’s orbit to make the case.

Columba Bush has long been deeply averse to the spotlight, especially after an embarrassing encounter with U.S. Customs while her husband was still in office.

Donors also wonder whether Bush is willing to subject his family and their personal lives to the inevitable scrutiny that comes with a national campaign. Two of his children have been in the news in past years for arrests linked to drug problems and public intoxication.

Is running for president really worth the grueling schedule, the personal attacks, the time spent away from home, and the constant and at times unfair media coverage? These are questions every presidential hopeful must answer -- and answer honestly. Plus, with Christie’s stock on the rise and his image improving, fundraising and securing endorsements could only prove more difficult for Bush over time, as they both represent the moderate -- or, if you prefer, the establishment -- wing of the party.

The consensus from inside Florida is that Bush will run and Sen. Marco Rubio (a close political ally and would-be establishment rival during the primaries) will bow out. Assuming Christie jumps in and Rubio instead runs for re-election, then, it’ll be Bush vs. Christie (and perhaps Walker) fighting for the centrist/moderate/establishment vote before facing down a Tea Party challenger. As Allahpundit recently sketched out, Jeb’s path to the nomination isn’t exactly impossible to imagine if he runs -- that is, if everything goes according to plan. But the question is, will he?

If he continues to poll this well in Iowa (of all places), I suspect he will.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography