Not even Jeb Bush’s own supporters are “very enthusiastic” about supporting him in 2016.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 12% of Bush supporters are actually “very enthusiastic” about his candidacy while a whopping 32% of his own supporters are either “not so enthusiastic” or “not enthusiastic at all” about supporting him. Fifty-six percent of his own supporters are “somewhat enthusiastic” about supporting him.
The poll also discovered that 53% of Americans view Bush unfavorably while only 33% view him favorably. Bush, though, leads the GOP field in the national poll with 20%. He is followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 13% and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 12%. And 33% think Bush will win the nomination regardless of which candidate they support while 12% think Cruz will.
Bush, who has doubled down on his support for comprehensive amnesty legislation and Common Core, has the most support among “moderate and liberal” Republicans and those who are “somewhat conservative.” Bush receives 36% support from the former group and 31% from the latter.
In comparison, the poll found that 42% of Clinton supporters were “very enthusiastic” about supporting her while another 42% were “somewhat enthusiastic.” Seventeen percent were either “not so enthusiastic” or “not enthusiastic at all” about supporting Clinton.
Bush trails Clinton 54-40 in a potential head-to-head battle, and the poll shows exactly the dynamic that conservative scholar and talk radio host Mark Levin warned about last year when he urged conservative activists to nominate a conservative for president for the first time since Ronald Reagan.
“It’s very, very, important that we nominate a conservative for the first time since Ronald Reagan,” Levin said. “There are people under 50-years-old who have never had an opportunity to vote for a conservative president. We want to show them what it’s like. It’s our generation’s responsibility.”
Levin said that candidates like Bush who are preferred by the GOP establishment “are not appealing” because “their candidates don’t stand for anything.
“And when they do stand for something, they’re moving left; they’re not moving right,” he added.
Levin said Republicans will win the White House only when the party nominates a candidate who inspires the grassroots voters who stayed at home instead of holding their noses and voting for moderate Republicans like John McCain, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush (his second term–when he was running for H.W.’s first term instead of Reagan’s fourth), Bob Dole, and Mitt Romney. He said last year that “it’s invigorating, energizing” and “almost spiritual to get behind somebody with enthusiasm and excitement. To go door-to-door. That’s how you win elections.”
The poll of “Republicans and GOP-leaning independents” has a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points.