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Is 2016 the End of the Bush Legacy?

Earlier this year, when former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush announced his presidential candidacy in June, the Bush legacy seemed to have good reception.  Notably, Bush received head-to-head match-up numbers against another legacy, Hillary Clinton, before announcing.  But with a recent December CNN/ORC poll showing Bush is now trailing the never-frontrunner Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), doubts about his campaign are on the rise.

“The good news is, you know, the most recent polling has me in sixth place in Iowa—I think in fifth place in Iowa and sixth place nationally,” the Kentucky Senator told Iowa radio host Jeff Angelo. “And the real question should be, are they gonna relegate Jeb Bush to a second-tier debate?”

The next Republican debate is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2016.  Each debate has had a “happy hour debate” or first round with low polling candidates, then the main debate following.  Is this banter indicative of problems in the Bush campaign?

Bush has raised more money than any Republican or Democrat candidate, totaling $128.037,114.  Raising ample money is seen a political advantage when running for office.  Yet, with money raised, the Bush positives aren’t raising.

With the Iowa caucus approaching on Feb. 1, 2016, Bush’s numbers are dropping and losing favorability, with no exception in Iowa.  In a Dec. 14-17 poll from CBS News, Bush is at 2% – in a three-way-tie for fifth place with Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee.  (Both Paul and Huckabee are thought to be soon dropping out of the 2016 Presidential Race.)  The impending voting is penned as a candidate thinning out process to help narrow the field.

Since September, Bush has seen a steady drop in polling numbers and favorability.  A Dec. Public Policy Polling poll shows Bush losing to Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Clinton, and barely eking out a win against second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).   A timeline from RealClear Politics gives a visual indication of how far Bush has fallen in a short six months.

But, Bush is looking ahead in his campaign – speaking at a rally in Florida about the first national primary in New Hampshire, bypassing the acknowledgment of failing numbers in Iowa.

“I’m very optimistic about New Hampshire,” Bush said to reporters in Spanish, showing off his bilingual abilities. “It’s already my second home.”

The Bush campaign has put extra emphasis on New Hampshire.  The Right to Rise super PAC is appealing to independent voters to consider allegiance to the possible third Bush president through handwritten letters.

Bush is polling in fifth place in NH primary polls.

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