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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Jeb Bush’s “Jebcare” is a Big Government Boondoggle

We begin today with a look at the TV ratings from Tuesday night’s CNN Democratic debate.

According to a post on CNN Money, “CNN's Tuesday night debate averaged 15.3 million viewers, easily making it the highest-rated Democratic debate ever.
Jeb Bush
“…For comparison's sake, the previous Democratic debate record was set in 2008, when Clinton and Barack Obama squared off in prime time on ABC. That debate had 10.7 million viewers.”

The total is impressive, though still significantly short of the 25 million and 23 million average viewers the first two Republican debates engendered. Of course the media thinks the Republicans only did so well because of Donald Trump’s celebrity.

Realistically speaking, I think the unexpectedly high interest in the Democrats on Tuesday was due to a similar “sensationalism” factor as the Republicans. But instead of tuning in to see how a reality TV-star would handle a serious political debate, Americans were morbidly curious to see how well Hillary could lie herself out her various scandals and whether her thickly-applied make-up would melt under the glare of a public that largely believes she should be behind bars rather than a debate lectern.

Add those factors together with the fact that most sane Americans were getting their first real glimpse at Bernie Sanders and it equals… about 15.3 million people!

Or maybe they just wanted to hear Sheryl Crow sing the national anthem and stayed around to see the rest of the screeching too.

Score: Republicans 4, Democrats 0

No, the two parties didn’t square off in an impromptu softball game after the debate. That’s the number of minority candidates in the Republican presidential field versus the Democratic field.

For a party that prides itself as “looking like America,” there is a not-so-surprising lack of racial diversity among the Democrat candidates. The debate stage was so pasty white on Tuesday night that it easily could have been mistaken for one of Bernie Sanders’ campaign rallies.

The supposedly racially oppressive Republicans on the other hand have one black American, two Hispanic Americans and one Indian American in their field.

I thought I’d add the “American” after the ethnic background to give a shout-out to the melting pot. Conservatives don’t see a minority in a suit in these candidates – we see people with stances on issues.

The Democrats are the ones who only see black, white and brown.

Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reports on Jesse Jackson’s reaction when questioned on the lack of racial diversity in the Democrat field. “Asked by The Daily Caller if his party’s all-white field was of concern, Jackson said that it is not.

“The Republicans, all of them are minority candidates. Even the white ones — their positions are minority,” Jackson said.

Jackson went on to say it wasn’t the party’s fault there aren’t any minority candidates this year on the Democrat side and speculated it was likely because any potential runners were scared to take on elderly white lady Hillary Clinton.

What a cop out. Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the “civil rights leaders” only see race whenever there’s an incident between the police and citizens of different ethnic make-ups. Why the double standard in coming to the defense of a collection of old, white, leftist-establishment politicians?

No wonder these people have no credibility.

Has Ben Carson closed the gap on Trump?

With all the silliness taking place in Las Vegas, we’ve almost lost sight of the real race for president between candidates with authentically diverse backgrounds and different positions and proposals on issues.

As for the Republicans, it appears the race is tightening further. Jonathan Easley of The Hill reports, “According to a Fox News poll released on Tuesday, Trump remains in the lead in the race for the party's nomination, with 24 percent support nationally, but Carson is a close behind at 23 percent.”

(Note: We looked at this poll yesterday in regards to its findings in head-to-head match-ups between the top Republicans and Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.)

Of course when the poll’s margin of error is included, they’re statistically tied. It’s big news for Carson, though Trump’s numbers aren’t exactly sinking like a stone.

Easley continues, “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is in third place with 10 percent support in the Fox News poll, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) at 9 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 8 percent.

“Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee each took 5 percent support in the survey.”

The poll numbers are consistent with other surveys in that the “outsiders” (Trump, Carson, Cruz and Fiorina) are tallying about two-thirds of the support (in this case, only 60%). Easley notes that Fiorina has dropped a few points since September, from nine to five percent.

This poll will also factor into who makes the stage for the October 28 CNBC primetime debate… which is mildly good news for Rand Paul (3%) and troubling for Chris Christie and John Kasich (at 1%).

Allahpundit of Hot Air points out there’s more good news in the poll for Carson, since when the first and second choice preferences are added together, he’s actually in the lead with over 40%.

Now we’re talking some serious numbers here, folks.

“What explains the recent surge in Carsonmania?” Allahpundit asks. “It’s got to be his scuffles with the media about whether a candidate who follows Islamic law could comply with the Constitution as president and whether an armed citizenry is crucial to resisting oppressive regimes like the Nazis, right?

“That’s some of the reddest cultural meat a conservative can dish out and he’s been dishing it unapologetically, despite endless pressure from his cable news hosts to recant.”

There really isn’t any other explanation for Carson’s somewhat steady improvement in the polls. Simply put, he’s seen as a principled man who isn’t afraid to defend his positions when confronted by journalists with an agenda.

His media visibility has increased accordingly. The TV news shows see Carson as a good guest who will likely say something they think they can jump on – only in Ben’s case, it’s backfiring on them, because people see through the bias.

(Note: A new CNN/ORC poll shows large leads for Trump in South Carolina and Nevada, the third and fourth voting states.)

Why Carly Fiorina isn’t following Ben Carson’s poll success

As alluded to above, Carly Fiorina has slid a bit from her post-debate high of nine points in the Fox News poll. In such a large field, five percent is nothing to sneeze at, yet she hasn’t caught fire in the same way Carson and Trump have.

In The Hill, political commentator Dick Morris calls Fiorina a “falling star.” Morris looks at Fiorina’s failure to gain traction after her stellar debate performances and concludes it’s because of her perceived lack of core principles.

“[T]he bloggers really did a number on her conservative credentials. They quoted her 2010 comment during her contest with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California that Roe v. Wade is ‘settled law’ and noted her endorsement of Rubio’s (R-Fla.) plan for amnesty for illegal immigrants, as well as her support for Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and her willingness to weaken Proposition 13, which holds down property taxes in California.”

All good points. Carly’s got a much longer trail of past statements directly relating to political issues than some of her opponents and there are a number of serious questions surrounding her. The bloggers have done their job, bringing up the facts and letting the people decide.

I don’t think Fiorina’s finished, especially with several more debates to come before the voting starts – but she’ll need to rely on all of her considerable rhetorical skills to convince skeptics that she’s for real.

Lastly on Carly, she did fairly well in fundraising the previous quarter, having raised 6.8 million for July through September.

Her total beat Marco Rubio’s $6 million take for the same time period. Not bad for someone who probably raised very little in one of those months – July.

She’s also collecting endorsements in Iowa by the dozen. If her national poll numbers continue to decline, she’ll need strength in the early states to regain her footing.

Jeb’s healthcare plan is still government controlled

Finally today, Taylor Millard of Hot Air examines Jeb Bush’s new healthcare plan, which the candidate affectionately calls “Jebcare.”

Millard says while Jeb’s plan is certainly an improvement over Obamacare, it doesn’t really go far enough in terms of allowing the free market to function in the industry.

“The problem is Bush’s plan isn’t bold. It’s got some good parts sure, but instead of doing a smaller government-involved health care proposal, Bush should be willing to let the free market loose. There’s a reason why 19% of Texas doctors aren’t taking health insurance and why 30% of doctors in the U.S. aren’t taking new Medicaid patients. There’s too much red tape and the money vs. the costs doesn’t work out.”

The health industry remains one of the most regulated by government, both at the state and federal levels. By proposing another complex-sounding plan, he runs the risk of confusing an already frustrated population that’s been suffering under the effects of Obamacare.

Nice try, Jeb, but “Jebcare” isn’t likely to help you sell your limited government bonafides to the public.

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