The latest national poll from Pew Research shows Donald Trump still leading the Republican pack, attracting the support of one-fourth of the GOP-leaning electorate. Another 25 percent of these voters are pure undecideds. Ben Carson remains in second place at 16 percent, followed by Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina -- who are tied at eight percent apiece. Ted Cruz sits in the mid-single-digits, followed by Jeb Bush at...four percent:
Randworld sources say the libertarian-leaning Senator isn't packing things in, but his decision to 'take a break' from the presidential campaign to tend to his Senate re-elect bid in Kentucky -- and his notably paltry quarterly fundraising numbers -- feel ominious. At the other end of the money spectrum, Team Bush is planning a fundraising blitz in October, holding 29 high-dollar events in 31 days. The push will feature the biggest stars in the Bush galaxy. This is a double-edged sword for the former Florida governor: For a candidate who feels politically compelled to insist that he's his "own man," he sure leans heavily on the ex-presidents within his nuclear family to fill his coffers. On the other hand, he'll have the resources to make a deep run into the spring, his flagging poll position notwithstanding (though he's concerned enough to be taking shots at Marco Rubio, who's overtaken him in numerous recent polls). Time's Zeke Miller examines the GOP's finalized 2016 calendar and nominating rules and concludes that the road to the July convention is shaping up to be a test of endurance and organization:
The 2016 Republican presidential race may turn into the most grueling campaign in two generations thanks to a series of rules and calendar changes instituted by the party in recent years. The combination of a front-loaded calendar and the expansion of states splitting their delegates among candidates, means a nominee won’t be likely be known until the spring at the earliest, according to the Republican National Committee—and perhaps months later. If three or more candidates pick up a substantial share of the early delegates in the first month of voting, the race could go all the way to early June, if not the convention.
Jeb's money machine could keep him in the game for the long haul, financing basic blocking and tackling while Jeb waits for competitors to implode or run out of money. But what happens if Bush's donors lose faith and contributions taper off dramatically? And what happens if Jeb's the one who self-destructs? He's been out of the game for awhile, and sometimes it shows. That being said, he was victimized by a media hit job today that was so unfair that it merits forceful push-back. Follow the progression of tweets as this episode played out:
In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, "stuff happens."— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 2, 2015
Time for another Jeb! walk-back? Reminds me of self-inflicted wound re women's health $ Phrasing/discipline matters. https://t.co/sUJ4RzRuok— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 2, 2015
A counterfeit, manufactured "outrage," designed to make it seem as though a Republican doesn't care about victims of gun violence. And much of the press is playing along. I'll leave you with Charles Cooke's questions for the knee-jerk "do something!" brigades: