White House

Jeb Bush stands alone in analyst’s first tier of White House hopefuls

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush listens during the Florida Forward education forum, hosted by the Orlando Sentinel. Bush was joined by a panel of other education experts to discuss issues the state is facing in education reform.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush listens during the Florida Forward education forum, hosted by the Orlando Sentinel. Bush was joined by a panel of other education experts to discuss issues the state is facing in education reform. Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Jeb Bush stands alone, if tentatively, in the first tier of Republican candidates, according to a new analysis by Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, ranks the potential presidential field. He found the former Florida governor has the national Bush money and organization, a decent gubernatorial resume and appeal in the Hispanic community.

But. He has the “wrong last name,” said Sabato. And “the party has moved to the right.”

“Jeb Bush fills a long-established vacuum,” Sabato found. “Our decision is tentative; his poll ratings are still underwhelming, and Bush is a shaky frontrunner. Yet Bush is No. 1 on a giant roster as we begin the long roller-coaster process of picking the party nominees over the next year and a half.”

The second tier, labeled “The Other Big Boys,” includes Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The hardcore right is in the third tier, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Then come four more tiers.

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