Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush continues to quietly chisel away at the opposition, distancing himself from the pack of Republican 2016 presidential candidates that now numbers seventeen. In this summer of 2015, Jeb continues to lead in the polls (see Jeb Bush’s summer surge by Eli Stokols in Politico):
Bush has jumped from 10.8 percent on June 15, the day he announced, to 16.3 percent Wednesday in the Real Clear Politics polling average, almost 6 points ahead of his nearest rival, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. In New Hampshire, he’s taken a similar lead.
Longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz said he believes the surge is no fluke.
“No one ever challenged his credentials or his character,” Luntz said. “The question was always whether he had the passion and conviction GOP primary voters insist on. Over the past month, he’s demonstrated both, and that’s why he’s rising.”
His willingness to take questions from voters at town halls across the early states and from the reporters in tow across Iowa and New Hampshire, where he currently holds a 5 percentage point edge over Walker, has set him apart from other contenders. And not just Hillary Clinton, whose velvet rope candidacy Bush often impugns, but GOP rivals like Walker, who has yet to hold a town hall in New Hampshire.
“Jeb has become what we all knew he would be, a very strong candidate,” said Ron Kaufman, a veteran GOP lobbyist who is backing Bush. “He’s the kind of candidate that Republican primary voters nominate: articulate, thoughtful, a conservative centrist who’s had management experience, someone who fills the stage.”
Bush’s demonstrated transparency was on display again last week, when his campaign turned the release of his 33 years of tax returns into a carefully packaged media event. … Since posting the financial disclosures … on his campaign’s website, Bush has actually gained 2.5 percentage points in the national average of polls.
The spike really started after Bush’s campaign launch June 15 in Miami … “His announcement speech event was the single best Republican announcement speech I’ve ever seen,” Kaufman said. “I’ve never seen a Republican crowd as diverse and enthusiastic as Jeb’s. The tone just worked; and it said a lot about who Jeb is and the campaign he’s running. It’s been presidential, if you will.”
The frontrunner’s firm hold of first place has been noted by others (see Jeb Bush now has clear lead in Republican presidential, 2 national polls show):
The Hill, a top US political newspaper read by the White House and more lawmakers than any competitor, reported that Bush now has a clear lead in polling both nationally and in New Hampshire, improving his chances to be the GOP nominee.“He runs 7 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival in CNN’s latest national poll and beats the field in New Hampshire by about 5 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average,” The Hill said on Monday.…In a report published on July 1, CNN Polls said Bush stands at 19 percent, which is 7 percent higher than the 13 percent he was at in May—his best showing in CNN/ORC polling so far.
The marathon campaign will continue through the summer and into the fall before the Iowa caucus is held on February 1 followed by New Hampshire on February 9, South Carolina on February 20, Nevada caucus on February 23, and then the all-important Super Tuesday with primaries and caucuses held in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont (see 2016 Primary Schedule).