The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Fox News polls have things coming up all roses for the conservative wing of the GOP as the anti-establishment candidates and the conservatives continue to trounce the left-wing of the party. Donald Trump continues to hold on to the top spot in the poll, but Dr. Ben Carson is right on his heels. The two have been neck in neck in most of the polling over the last month, and Carson is now closer than ever within 3 points in the NBC/WSJ poll and within 1 in the Fox News poll.
However, this isn’t the news that the GOP establishment will find most surprising. No, the fact that Jeb Bush has fallen out of the Top 4 is what may finally get the establishment worrying. Fox News found that Ted Cruz was now in 3rd place with 10% of the vote, followed closely by Marco Rubio with 9%, and then… Jeb Bush in 5th place with 8%. The only other candidates garnering more than 1% of the vote were Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee at 5% each and Rand Paul at 3%.
While in the NBC/WSJ poll Rubio and Cruz are flipped – with Rubio garnering 13% and Cruz 9%. In this poll, Bush once again comes in at 5th with 8%.
While these polls are bad for the GOP establishment, things are far worse for the Democrat Party, as all of the major GOP candidates have now moved ahead of the presumptive Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton.
According to the Fox News poll, Dr. Carson actually gets to the 50% threshold when put head to head against Clinton, and while not reaching that level, Bush, Fiorina and Trump all handily defeat her as well! Comparing this Fox News poll to the last few months of polling data shows a growing trend – Clinton’s poll numbers have steadily been getting worse as America gets to know the GOP candidates better.
At some point in the very near future the GOP establishment will be forced to make a choice – either go all in for Jeb Bush (the consequences be damned) or choose an “acceptable” conservative candidate. I think they are leaning to the latter and that they’ve been eyeing Marco Rubio for the job. Interestingly enough, the Fox News Poll showed that among the GOP candidates, Rubio performs best in a potential matchup against Joe Biden.
I’d say it’s only a matter of time before Marco Rubio becomes the favored candidate of the GOP establishment, and while conservatives may still be angry with him over the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill, we could do far worse than a President Rubio. In fact, Rubio is a much better candidate than either of our last two nominees (McCain and Romney), and he’s a more conservative option than Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and even Carly Fiorina. Conservatives have many reasons to be optimistic about 2016 – as these latest polls suggest.