With Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, many establishment Republicans now believe they have found a strong candidate they can back against Trump, Cruz and whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is.
With Rubio's ascendancy, the other establishment candidates such as John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush have only the New Hampshire primary to rely on for voter momentum in other states.
Kasich has not moved in the polls recently while Christie's support has only decreased after Iowa, but a new poll from Harper Polling now puts Bush at second place in New Hampshire with 14 percent to Trump's 31 percent, The Hill reports.
Despite the bit of good news for Jeb Bush, the truth is that he should drop out of the race and throw his support behind Rubio if he truly wants an establishment Republican to win the nomination rather than Trump or Cruz.
First of all, the evidence is in: Jeb Bush is just not a good presidential candidate, and is not a particularly effective public speaker. The latest episode revealing this was during a speech in New Hampshire where the former Florida governor railed against "blowharding" and "talking a big game without backing it up" as a Commander-in-Chief. When he was met with complete and total silence, he defeatedly asked the audience to "please clap", Boston.com reports.
The other, and more substantive reason why Bush should drop out is that his continued candidacy means he will have to vie most competitively with Rubio for potential voters going forward. Republican donors and operatives fear a protracted battle between the two creates greater potential for Trump or Cruz victories before the Republican convention this summer, according to Yahoo Politics.
Bush will certainly not drop out of the race before the New Hampshire primary, but if he believes in a somewhat-unified Republican Party he should throw his support behind Rubio as soon as possible. Bush has more resources and more donors to go forward and actually undertake an extended fight against the senator than Kasich or Christie, but if he does not ultimately drop out of the race before the Florida primary, he could be helping to ensure a Trump or Cruz candidacy.