And so he departs the race; Jeb Bush is gone. After finishing a disappointing 4th in South Carolina, the once-front-runner has decided to call it quits. Note that was 4th, not 5th or 6th – those candidates are bizarrely clinging on. I’m looking at you Ben Carson!
We’ll be discussing the fate of Jeb Bush on this week’s edition of First Ade then Paul, but for now take a look at this video from the BBC. It details the increasing polarisation of American society, which I believe is a preview for the way our society in the UK is headed thanks to social media.
A surge! A Ben Carson surge! Yes, from 14 Feb – 18 Feb Ben Carson has seen his poll ratings in South Carolina rocket from a paltry 4.8% to a staggering 6.8%, taking him from a disappointing 6th place to… a slightly less disappointing 6th.
The real fight seems to be between Cruz and Rubio as to who can come second behind Trump, so very much a re-run of New Hampshire (albeit with Cruz as a contender for 2nd instead of Kasich). Bush… well… ah Bush. He’s still in there somewhere, spending so much money on a campaign that isn’t going anywhere that he’s starting to look like a socialist keen on redistributing all his wealth. Time to crack out another profound tweet methinks!
After a fiery Republican debate that saw clashes between Trump and Cruz, Trump and Bush, and Trump and the audience, one question remains as strong as ever: just how delusional is Ben Carson? The latest South Carolina poll has him on 4% and that was before his appalling debate appearance. The answer might be at his peak on Nov 9 he polled 23.3% and believes that somehow all those voters might come flocking back on election day. It’s doubtful. My guess would be that he made a promise to himself about SC when the polls were strong, and on FEB 21 he’ll bow out.
Other than Ben Carson’s decidedly sleepy showing, Trump suffered the brunt of the audience’s ire, especially when he attacked George Bush on Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. But Trump has never polled particularly strongly with the sort of loyal Republicans who attend or view these debates. He polls best amongst those who’d have considered giving up on the party, those who feel excluded from the political process, those that respond to Trump’s advertising sound-bite-style communications, and if New Hampshire is anything to go by, they’re still willing to turn out and vote.
For those who don’t quite grasp the uphill struggle the other candidates face, Trump currently polls 35.3% in SC. That’s 19.3% ahead of Cruz. It’s a hell of a lead, and not unique to SC either.
So long Chris! So long Carly! Yup, as predicted Chris Christie of New Jersey and Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard have dropped out the race. For some reason Ben Carson is still hanging in there, perhaps because he has polled strongly in one or two states and wants his moment in the sun. Also, having been a front runner a while back, its probably difficult to throw in the towel, even when it is obvious you should do so.
For those who didn’t catch it before, here’s the clip from the debates that Paul and I discussed:
Voters in New Hampshire today are making their choice as to whom shall take all the media attention, at least until the South Carolina Primary on the 20th. Yup, big stakes at play. So far it looks like Trump is going to win, but all the attention is on which Republican candidate can take second place. Will Rubio sustain his Iowa momentum?
Well this wee blog is calling for one candidate to hold in there: Jeb Bush. Yes, by simply being mild-mannered and a bit pathetic, Jeb Bush has claimed our pity vote in much the same way that that nice grey bloke, John Major managed to. So hang in there, Jeb! Don’t let those appalling poll ratings deter you! This election needs a quiet, compromising, bland, middling figure and you’re just the guy to do it!
So long Rand! So long Rick! Barely had the podcast been recorded when it was rendered out of date. Both Rand Paul and Rick Santorum have bowed out of the race for the White House, allowing their meagre support to flow to other more likely candidates. As a parting shot at Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Rick Santorum heaped praise on Marco Rubio (our podcasts predicted next president). No such indication from Rand as to where he’d like his voters to swing, but perhaps that’s because there really isn’t anyone else in the race quite like him…