Near panic in Jeb! Bush land, as donors demand contributions be matched by positive polling numbers.

Near panic in Jeb! Bush land, as donors demand contributions be matched by positive polling numbers.

Another Bush donor invited to Miami, assessing the state of anxiety within Bush’s operation on a scale of 1 to 10, put the panic level at a “6 or 7. [Politico]

WITH THE rise of Marco Rubio in the polls, Jeb! is looking like a wounded political animal. The primary season is fueled by donors and bundlers, which is just one reason you get continual polling that they thrive on or their candidates die on. Of course, the other reason is there is nothing else to judge the presidential race but shifting polls, which result in nervous money men and women.

Jeb! is not fit for the current climate.

Hillary Clinton has the same challenge, except that she’s been through it before and after 6 months of flailing over the server/email story she has found her footing. Whether she can reverse the baked in opinions and feelings about her candidacy will depend on October’s debate, as well as the Benghazi hearing. Though national polling is irrelevant to most at this point it isn’t among donors and establishment players who see Clinton now lagging in the general election contest against Republicans. This, too, could change, but it’s making a lot of elite Democrats and their backers nervous. The latest snapshot of where women stand didn’t help.

But I bet you money that Jeb! would trade places with Hillary Clinton in a nanosecond, because she remains the favorite to win.

Let me add, however, that both Jeb! and Hillary no longer control their own narrative, if for different reasons. It points to something else at play.

The establishment of both parties, including where they get their money, are notoriously squeamish. The other issue is that we’re inside a cauldron of change. From Ezra Klein at Vox.com

So here’s a hypothesis — raw, incomplete, and potentially incorrect — for why politics has been so surprising this year: The tools that party insiders use to decide both electoral and legislative outcomes are being weakened by new technologies and changing media norms. And so models of American politics that assume the effectiveness of those tools — models that weight elite opinion heavily, and give outsiders and insurgents little chance — have been thrown off.

Jeb!’s money advantage has always been seen as his firewall, but that conventional wisdom vanished the moment when Marco Rubio’s presence on the debate stage made Bush look like an amateur, but even worse, a candidate of the past where a majority of Republicans voters, as well as many on the Democratic side, think all our problems were born.

Reporting from Politico

“I don’t know if it’s panic or paranoia in Miami, but they are losing Walker people to Marco and if you say what’s true, they get mad,” said one Bush donor, who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity. “I think it’s just reflective of what’s been going on for the past month or so and the way the race, at least in the establishment lane, has shifted. It’s really Jeb or Marco now. Marco’s fundraising has picked up and Jeb’s has stayed flat.”

Another Bush donor invited to Miami, assessing the state of anxiety within Bush’s operation on a scale of 1 to 10, put the panic level at a “6 or 7.”

Photo via Jeb! Bush on Instagram