Speed Reads


National Review analysis: Jeb Bush 'has almost no chance of being the GOP nominee'

In a fascinating analysis at the conservative magazine National Review, Lawrence Brinton, a pseudonym for a political operative who has supposedly "informally advised several 2016 campaigns," lays out a compelling case that establishment favorite Jeb Bush has "almost no chance" of winning the 2016 Republican nomination. Brinton bases his analysis on Bush's third-quarter fundraising numbers, which show that the cash for his campaign comes overwhelmingly from major donors — indicating a lack of support from grassroots voters who are not only necessary to build enthusiasm for a campaign, but who also in recent election cycles have become a financial force in their own right.

Brinton's analysis is damning. The ratio of Bush's big-donor and small-donor amounts is a wildly unbalanced 15:1, comparing unfavorably to Hillary Clinton (3:1), Marco Rubio (1.7:1), Ted Cruz (1:1.6), and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump (1:6.5). (As Brinton notes, Trump has not even been an active fund-raiser, and would likely be an attractive candidate to both major donors and small donors.) Bush even trails Mitt Romney at this stage of the 2008 election cycle, with the former private equity titan boasting a healthier 7:1 ratio. George W. Bush had a 12:1 ratio at this stage of the 2000 race, but Brinton argues that he was competitive in the small donor range and dominant in the middle donor range, whereas Jeb is very weak in both areas.

Based on historical patterns, Brinton concludes that "Jeb Bush cannot win." He adds, "No candidate has ever won the nomination with such a heavy reliance on big donors, even at a time when big-donor money made up a much larger percentage of total fundraising." Brinton says that the candidate in the best position to win is Cruz, and that Rubio, Carly Fiorina, and Trump are also in the mix.

Read the entire analysis at National Review.