Wesley Lowery in The Washington Post has an informative roundup of where the GOP's big-money donors — broadly referred to here as the network that funded Mitt Romney's 2012 run — stand on the Republican Party's 2016 presidential prospects. The big takeaway is that they really, really like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "If Jeb Bush is in the race, he clears the field," one donor told Lowery.
Notably, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is also getting a lot of love from the Republican Party's moneyed class, with many praising his ability to weather the political storm that surrounded his successful bid to weaken union bargaining rights in his home state. ("Walker's political resilience is the trait they most admire," says Lowery.) Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is virtually persona non grata; in addition to Bridgegate, half of Romney's donors are reportedly still bitter about that time he supposedly threw away the 2012 election by palling around with President Obama.
It goes to show that while Christie enjoyed some seriously fawning press coverage in the glow of his re-election victory, his standing within the party had grown quite shaky even before his subordinates decided it was time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee. He doesn't have bedrock support in the grassroots or the 1 percent, leaving him in a no-man's-land between the two main camps in today's GOP. All of which will make it that much harder for him to claw his way back to relevancy.- - Ryu Spaeth
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