Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush acknowledges supporters while formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida June 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY  - RTX1GMRN

To me the Jeb Bush candidacy is the GOP mirror image of the Hillary Clinton candidacy. Party apparatchiks and big money donors decided that the Tweedle-Dee-Tweedle-Dum(b) combination presented fewest risks to the status quo. Both were bland, milquetoastish types who would be damned unlikely to upset any apple carts. Both Bush and Clinton figured that it was their turn. So it was a perfect match. The puzzle to me has always been who the hell gets out of bed in the morning thinking, “dammit, I can hardly wait to vote for [Jeb Bush/Hillary Clinton] so they can usher in a new era for America”? Try it. See. You can’t imagine that either. In an earlier time, Jeb Bush might very well have coasted to the nomination based on the weakness of the opposition and his fundraising prowess. But in a field of 15 other candidates, most of whom (oddly except the two GOP front runners) have solid political credentials, Jeb Bush’s persona has become a millstone and his money has, at best, kept him from sinking into statistical oblivion.

Jeb Bush’s sole raison d’être in the current field is that he is popular in Florida and is perceived as having a strong appeal to Hispanic voters. Now there are a couple of new polls out that call that into question.

A Gravis poll of Florida self-identified Republicans finds Bush isn’t doing all that well:

In a poll released two days before the second GOP presidential debate, billionaire developer Donald Trump is riding Republican voters’ wave of anti-establishment preference, polling 33.6 percent. Fellow non-politician and neurosurgeon Carson drew 22.4 percent.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the closest veteran politician, drawing just 15.2 percent in his home state.

Florida’s U .S. [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] fell to fifth in the Gravis Florida poll at 5.4 percent. At that level Rubio is in a tight pack, just a few tenths of a point behind businesswoman Carly Fiorina and U.S. [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] of Texas, and just a tenth of a point ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The rest of the GOP candidates fell below the poll’s margin of error. Gravis, of Winter Springs, conducted the poll Sept. 5-11, calling 891 Republicans for a margin of error of 3 percent; and 693 Democrats, for a margin of error of 4 percent. The pollsters used both automated telephone calls and cell phone responses.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads with 41.6 percent of Florida’s Democrats, followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 21.4 percent, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 12.5 percent.

Gravis also asked Florida’s Republican voters who they liked better, Bush or Rubio. If the Florida primary were between just those two, Rubio leads 51 percent to 31 percent.

These numbers mirror what other polls have found on the national scale.

A PPP poll found mostly the same:

Donald Trump has a wide lead at 28% with Ben Carson second at 17%. Bush (13%) and Rubio (10%) can only achieve 3rd and 4th place standings in their home state. Ted Cruz at 9%, Carly Fiorina at 7%, and John Kasich at 5% round out the candidates with any meaningful level of support.

The interesting thing they found was that more Floridians think Bush should drop out of the race than support him. The same applies for Rubio but Rubio is much more popular than Bush.

Only 40% of voters in the state think Bush should keep running, compared to 47% who think he should drop out. And the numbers are similar for Rubio with just 42% believing he should continue on with his campaign to 48% who believe he should end it.

Allahpundit at HotAir delved into the cross-tabs. Keep in mind that, at best, these are order-of-magnitude findings and they are from PPP, but if they even reflect a measurable trend then they spell doom for Jeb Bush.

bush poll

The picture it paints is of a candidate who is flailing about and unable to lock down either his own state or make in-roads with Hispanic voters. Jeb Bush is well on his way to joining George Pataki, Chris Christie and Jim Gilmore as one of the WTF? candidates.