Despite being seen as the GOP front runner for 2016, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush doesn’t seem to have much support among CPAC participants.
“Polls and surveys, what did that did for you during the midterm? We don’t believe what the media talking heads inside the Beltway tell us down in Working Country,” says William Temple, a prominent Georgia Tea Partier who often dresses like the Founding Fathers. He would favor Ted Cruz, whom he believes stands for the Constitution and small government.
In fact, Bush’s support is so low, according to Temple, that he warns of a mass walk-out from his talk on Friday because people want a real conservative.
Many see Bush as a “RINO” and too close with the establishment wing of the GOP. “The two Bushes that preceded him didn’t do a good job. George W. ran the deficit up, although admittedly not as high as the present president,” says Bill Martin of the Tea Party Patriots. “Strong-principled conservatives like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are much more popular on the grassroots level. They believe in personal and economic freedoms.”
However, the people supporting him believe his name could actually do him good. “No Republican became president without having a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket since World War II,” says John Lewis of votingcatholic.com. His pro-life position will also play in his favor among social conservatives.
A conservative from Florida also believe Bush would be the best candidate in swing states like Florida where she’s from. “Should it come down to a race between Jeb and Hillary, Bush would have the upper hand,” she believes.
Finally, there are also many people believe it’s too early in the race to actually name the front runner. “A month ago, Scott Walker was only known by very politicized people. Now he’s had quite a few media appearances and is seen as a favorite,” believes Genevieve Wood of The Daily Signal. Walker, she adds, is the perfect example of what could happen in the long run in the race.