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Tags: Jeb Bush | Republican Party | Rand Paul | nomination

WaPo: Don't Assume Bush Will Win GOP Nomination

WaPo: Don't Assume Bush Will Win GOP Nomination
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 18 December 2014 02:13 PM EST

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be a strong contender for the Republican nomination in a party that has a history of choosing the establishment candidate, but Sen. Rand Paul's possible presence in the race could undermine his chances, a Washington Post political blogger writes.

"A look back at recent contested Republican presidential primary fights suggests that the race typically boils down to one candidate from the establishment lane and one from the tea party/activist conservative lane — with the establishment candidate winning," wrote Chris Cillizza in the Post's "The Fix" politics blog.

He gave the examples of Mitt Romney beating conservative candidate Rick Santorum for the 2012 nomination, and John McCain beating conservative Mike Huckabee in 2008.

Cillizza said, however, that the current state of the GOP may be different than the past and its simple division between tea party conservatives and the establishment. The influence of the tea party has somewhat waned in the last few years, he said.

At the same time, the rise of a libertarian wing within the party poses a challenge to the traditional battle lines between establishment candidates and conservative candidates as it plays out in a presidential primary, spelling the possible ascendancy of Paul.

"That reality creates what I think is the most likely scenario in the fight for the GOP nomination in 2016: It won't be a battle between, say, Bush and whoever the tea party puts up. It is more likely to be a battle between whoever the establishment nominates and Paul, whose hybrid appeal to libertarians, tea partyers, and a slice of the fiscally conservative establishment is unlike anyone else in the potential field."

To sum it up, he said that Paul's presence in the race undermines the assumption that Bush will clinch the nomination if he becomes the establishment's choice. He also noted that Paul will likely be able raise the money that conservatives in the past have failed to do.

"Unlike past conservative lane choices who have never had the fundraising or organization heft to challenge the establishment pick, Paul just might. His activity in the 2016 race suggests he is not Huckabee or Santorum on those fronts," he wrote.

"The idea that Bush can unite the establishment and, as a result, be the odds-on favorite as the nominee is based on an outdated read of the current state of the party," he concluded.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be a strong contender for the Republican nomination in a party that has a history of choosing the establishment candidate, but Sen. Rand Paul's possible presence in the race could undermine his chances, a Washington Post political blogger writes.
Jeb Bush, Republican Party, Rand Paul, nomination
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2014-13-18
Thursday, 18 December 2014 02:13 PM
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