When Jeb Bush announced he was running for president in June, many assumed he would undoubtedly become the frontrunner for 2016. However, with the unlikely emergences of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, that quickly changed.
Now, not even five months later, Bush is grasping at straws to remain a contender in the presidential race. It’s time to recognize the futility of this effort and drop out, allowing voters to focus their attention entirely on the major candidates.
Bush is refusing to go down without a fight and has refocused his campaign on his time as governor of Florida. His “Jeb Can Fix It” tour made its debut in Tampa on Monday as he attempted to rally voters to his campaign.
The tour was a 3-day trip across Florida, South Carolina and New Hampshire. During this trip, Bush plans to tell the story of his time in office in Florida and share his accomplishments with the hope they will demonstrate his aptitude to lead our country.
A poll released Wednesday showed over the last 6 weeks Bush has sunk 6 percentage points to a measly 4 percent support. This is the lowest rating he has had in any national poll so far.
Will this last-ditch effort improve his standing in the polls? Perhaps. But it will not be significant enough to give Bush a realistic shot at the White House. Trump holds 24 percent support and Carson closely follows him with 23 percent. Marco Rubio has climbed to 14 percent, and Ted Cruz nearly doubled his previous rankings to rise to 13 percent.
Miraculously overcoming the insurmountable odds is utterly implausible. It is time for Bush to take one for the team and step down. Yes, all of the contenders believe they would be the best fit for office. Nevertheless, Americans have made their opinions very clear: Bush needs to go.
However, on Wednesday, Bush told ABC News “I don’t even care” about the polls. When he was asked if there was any situation where he would back out of the race before Iowa, he simply but firmly replied “No.”
It’s time for Bush to mimic the former GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker. In September, Walker realized he did not stand a chance against the other runners and withdrew.
“I encourage other republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates,” he said.
Staying in the race will only negatively affect the Republican Party. Each stab Bush and other candidates take at their fellow contenders will be swallowed up by whoever wins the democratic nomination. They are literally tearing each other apart.
The democrats spend time talking about the issues rather than demeaning each other. They are united in the belief that regardless of who wins the nomination, their party should be the one elected to office. By refusing to rip each other apart, they are keeping extra ammunition out of the hands of their competitor, the GOP.
Yet the republican candidates do not appear to share this view. Bush dropping out will in no way prevent the remaining candidates from slandering each other every chance they get, but it will ensure that a little less gasoline is thrown on the already raging fire.
Flopped candidates refusing to withdrawal will ultimately be the demise of the GOP. Bush has zero chance of obtaining office. He needs to get over his pride and do what’s best for his party.
Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications