Polling is mixed, but when it comes to resources and potential resources, Jeb Bush is the man to beat for the GOP presidential nomination. Hugh has often said that the abundance of candidates under which we labor is an advantage because the early oppo fire has to be a shotgun instead of a rifle in the earliest stages of the game. By this time in the game last cycle, Obama, and his allies were already shooting right at Mitt Romney. This cycle, no one quite knows where to aim, but if I were the Hillary oppo people I’d be looking closest at Jeb. Currently, religion is as much fodder for oppo work as it is binder between a candidate and his base.
Some targets just stand there and yell “shoot me,” tilting the scales towards religion as oppo. Ted Cruz’s grossly overt religious utterances in his announcement would be one such example. Mike Huckabee’s hucksterism speaks for itself as another example. But these are issues of presentation, rhetoric and style – they can be combated on the same grounds. As governor of Florida Jeb Bush, on at least one issue that created a national firestorm, has governed straight out of his Roman Catholic convictions and as such presents a target of substance, not just style. His candidacy could reignite that national firestorm all over again. It is difficult to say which direction this particular issue will tilt the scales, but the ground work has begun to bring this issue back to heated attention.