21 February 2016

73% blame Bush name for failure of Jeb’s candidacy


Much more quickly than many people expected, while the votes of the people of South Carolina were still being counted, Jeb Bush suspended his once much-anticipated campaign for the presidency. We asked the YouGov First Verdict panel why Governor Bush’s campaign had failed to take off in Iowa, New Hampshire and in Saturday’s first primary in the South.

The overwhelming answer – 73% agreeing that “America does not want another Bush in the White House” – only confirmed Barbara Bush’s instinct from 2013: that America has “had enough Bushes”. Mrs Bush, the great grandmother of the Bush dynasty, made that remark during a TV interview in 2013 in which she disclosed her hope that her son would not run. Florida’s Governor for eight years didn’t take his mom’s advice and might now wish he had. He burnt through an estimated $56 million and to almost no effect.

Our YouGov panel also blamed his failure on not distancing himself from his brother’s unpopular war in Iraq (46%) and a lack of exciting ideas (40%). Only 13% said “Jeb Bush could have been a good president”. The full results are below (respondents could check as many factors as they wished).

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We also – again – asked the panel if they thought Donald Trump will ever be US President. 22% answered “yes”. That’s up from just 13% when we asked exactly the same question at the start of the month, on 2nd February, before Mr Trump’s victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The percentage answering “no” fell from 72% to 60%.

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For more about Portrait of America and the methodology behind First Verdict, click here.

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Tim Montgomerie is Editor of Portrait of America