It is not difficult to see why Jeb Bush is losing this presidential election. He is the wrong man in the wrong cycle. Republican primary voters are rewarding passionate, fiery, outsider, “anti-establishment” candidates who paint their visions in broad strokes rather than pesky details. Bush is the very picture of a Republican establishment and his donors the very image of donor-class Republicanism. Though he claims not to be “an expert on the ways of Washington,” he is vying to be the third consecutive Republican president named Bush. He is a conservative technocrat animated less by angst and more by, say, education funding models. Anti-immigration sentiment is dominating this primary, and immigration has long been Bush’s chief weakness in the primary. He’s a bad fit for the 2016 Republican Party, and barring some deus ex machina that switches every current coursing through the Republican primary electorate, he will soon have little rationale for continuing his run.
What’s more difficult to figure out, though, is why Republican primary voters seem to dislike the guy so much. It’s one thing not to support Bush’s candidacy or not to respond to his style of politics. It’s another to act as though the man personally beat up you and your entire family and then stole your television. And your dog.