A new Reuters poll shows Gov. Jeb Bush climbing out of a deep hole — and he’s doing so by standing on the back of Sen. Marco Rubio.
The Jan. 12 result in Reuter’s rolling, five-day poll shows Bush at 10.6 percent, up 3 points from the cellar-floor level of 7.6 percent on Jan. 11. In turn, Rubio dropped from 7.4 percent on Jan. 11, to 6.7 percent, says the poll.
That shift is much-needed good news for Bush, who has been facing donor pressure to drop out of the race so that establishment supporters can consolidate their votes behind Rubio.
But it is also conditional good news for Trump, because Bush’s rise is likely to keep the GOP’s establishment candidates fighting each other as the Iowa and New Hampshire votes get closer.
Brain surgeon Ben Carson dropped from 13.5 percent on Jan. 10, down to 9.6 percent on Jan. 12, says Reuters. Donald Trump is still cruising high at 39 percent, but down 2.4 point from Jan. 11. Sen. Ted Cruz was flat, at 14.5 percent on Jan. 12.
The Bush spike of three points is small in numerical terms — but it is the most notable shift in an otherwise stable polling data.
One possible cause for Bush’s national gain may be the barrage of anti-Rubio TV-ads being dropped by a Bush-backing Super-PAC, Right To Rise. Those ads have been funded by Bush’s huge take from big-business donors, and have slammed Rubio for missing votes and intelligence briefings, and also for flip-flopping on his 2010 election-trail promise to oppose any amnesty for migrants.
That last amnesty charge is ironic, because Bush favors an amnesty and his economic plan calls for a large inflow of white-collar foreign workers, whose arrival would likely cut wages for the white-collar, college-grad Americans who are a huge part of the GOP’s base.
“I view fixing a broken [immigration] system as a huge opportunity to get to that four percent [national economic] growth,” Bush told roughly 600 Detroit-region business leaders in February 2015. “We can grow by 4 percent through all sorts of policies, but immigration has to be a part of it,” he insisted.