Tonight’s GOP Presidential debate on Fox Business could be a make-or-break moment for Jeb Bush. The former favorite has seen his campaign flounder in recent weeks, and he’s currently slumped to fifth in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics, attracting just 6% of support.
If Bush wants to break out of his rut, he needs to get back to what made him the favorite in the first place: playing the business-friendly, compassionate conservative who would enact conservative policies while not bowing to the Tea Party and other reactionary elements within the Republican Party. Right now, he’s lost that crown to Marco Rubio, who is topping the polls among candidates who have actually held elected office. If he continues losing that ground, he also risks losing his biggest plus — the support of big-money donors from the business world. Standing up to immigration hardliners like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump may help Bush do that, and it will especially help him in a general election if he manages to get through the primaries.
Bush will likely be helped by the fact that this debate is on Fox Business— the questions will likely be geared towards financial and domestic policy, theoretically his strong suit. If he wants to take advantage of that, though, he will need to be sharper than he has in previous debates. Perhaps his brother can give him a pointer or two on how to look comfortable in front of a camera.
More on what each of the top GOP Candidates need to do at tonight’s debate: