From Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen:
“Please clap,” Jeb Bush wryly told a subdued crowd in New Hampshire last week, a moment that epitomizes his problem.
The pundits call it lack of traction. Among too many voters it’s lack of interest.
If Jeb bombs in New Hampshire, he’s done. Even if he doesn’t quit the race, it’s over.
A year ago this scenario was unimaginable. He had more money, more brains, more connections and more governing experience than any other Republican wanting to be president. Like many people, I thought his nomination would be a slam dunk.
The gaseous rise of Donald Trump upended everything, but not only for Jeb. The other candidates had to scramble, too. Some did a better job.
Sure, Iowa is a silly place to start a presidential campaign. Its demographics are freakishly white, and the GOP electorate is anomalously dominated by evangelical Christians.
Still, Jeb spent plenty of time and money there, and wound up with only 2.8 percent of the vote. That’s miserably weak, and there’s no positive spin.
What’s happening? The answer is, for better or worse: Not much.