A new Quinnipiac poll of Iowa is out, and it shows Jeb Bush losing to, well, pretty much everyone:
Only 5% of likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers told Quinnipiac University pollsters that they planned to vote for Bush, placing him No. 7 in the field of declared or potential 2016 candidates.
Even worse for Bush: He may not have as much room to grow over the next year as other candidates do. One-quarter of Republicans said they definitely could not support Bush, the lowest ceiling of support of any candidate in the Hawkeye State, and 45% said Bush was “not conservative enough.”
The top Republican in Iowa is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who garnered support from 21% of those surveyed. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are tightly packed for second place, each earned between 13% and 11% support. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who unveiled his campaign on Monday, tallied 7% of the vote.
Jeb Bush losing to Scott Walker, Ran Paul, and Ted Cruz isn’t a surprise; Bush losing to Ben Carson, a political neophyte who has no chance to win the nomination, is.
When you dig further, Bush’s basic unpopularity rating comes to the fore: “Negative 39 – 45 percent favorability rating for Bush, and 36 percent saying he’s about right on issues, while 45 percent say he’s not conservative enough.”
Polls this early are essentially meaningless (remember when Howard Dean was going to win Iowa?), but the fact Bush is polling so poorly this early suggests both that he’s deeply unpopular with the base, and that he has yet to build an effective political operation in Iowa. Remember, George W. Bush won the Iowa caucuses handily over Steve Forbes in 2000 (McCain didn’t even pull 5%).
So far, Jeb Bush is running considerably behind expectations.