Likability. Shmikability. From the very beginning we’ve heard stories from people who don’t like Ted Cruz about how “unlikable” he is. No one has ever come up with an measure of this other than, after an election, political consultants sitting around, knocking back expensive scotch, and saying, “damn, I would have won but my candidate just wasn’t likable.” I’ve never believed it. I still don’t believe it (Nixon was more likable than Humphrey? Gore — who won the popular vote — was more likable than anyone?). But, be that as it may, some have told me, well, all you do is look at the favorables and unfavorables and that tells you if the candidate is likable. Silly, right? But I can show you that precise conversation here on RedState.
Anyway, to the story.
Gallup released a poll showing that Jeb Bush was very unpopular with Republicans. He is THE ONLY GOP candidate who has a negative favorability rating. In short, there is no identifiable group that will vote for Jeb Bush so long as the dog of any other candidate is still alive.
Both Cruz and Rubio have increased favorability as the campaign has progressed, though Cruz now leads Rubio by a 10 points after trailing him in October and November. This implies that both men are in a great position to win the nomination though Cruz is becoming the consensus candidate in the GOP.
The other factoid would seem to be Donald Trump’s ability to shift the Overton Window on any subject. We’ve joked here that Trump has succeeded in making any solution for dealing with illegal immigration that doesn’t involve rounding up 11 million people and frog marching them across the border seem sane and reasonable. Note that Trump has gone from a -3 favorability to a +24 (leading Christie, Kasich, and Bush) over the course of three months.