Let's start in New Hampshire, where support for John Kasich has fallen off the cliff:
The rise of anti-establishment candidates ... have stalled Ohio Gov. John Kasich's momentum in New Hampshire, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows.
Kasich, who a month ago sat in second place, behind real estate mogul Donald Trump, does not rank among the Republican presidential field's top 5 this time.
Kasich has distinguished himself as a younger John McCain, grumpy and completely focused on expanding the size and scope of government.
On to Yeb!, who has seen his support fall nationally to 4 percent, a new low among GOP voters.
Jeb Bush's support has plunged to 4% among Republicans, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center... The numbers mark a new low water mark for Bush, the one-time GOP front-runner.
The former Florida governor entered the year polling in the high teens, and was still leading the GOP field in polling as late as July... But he's been consistently slipping after a series of weak debate performances, and other recent polling has found him in the mid- to high-single digits... Pew's results are the latest ominous sign for Bush.
Bush's donors are described as "increasingly anxious".
As it becomes clear that the exclamation point that follows “Jeb” in the candidate’s logo is an unconvincing contrivance, Bush donors are getting nervous ... the trajectory of Bush’s support is moving in only one direction: downward. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released in mid-July found Bush leading the field with 22 percent support. Today, NBC/WSJ pegs Bush’s support at just 7 percent. In that survey, he trails four candidates, and at least one of them – Senator Marco Rubio – is as appealing to establishmentarian Republicans as is the former Florida governor.
As Politico reported on Tuesday, the Bush campaign has been directing its donors, who look at the candidate’s imploding standing in the polls and shudder, to instead survey the prediction markets that have for months steadily indicated that Bush would eventually emerge the party’s nominee. “Just one problem,” Politico revealed. “Beginning Sunday night, PredictIt, the biggest of the online sites and the one referenced last week by top Bush advisers and confidants, placed Marco Rubio ahead of Bush at the head of the GOP pack...”
...None of this is going as planned. The 2016 race is anything but predictable. This was supposed to be the election cycle in which the dominance of high-dollar donors was clearly demonstrated, but that hasn’t happened. This empirical reality has not, however, altered the perception among liberals that big money still controls the political process. Their dogmatism exposes the extent to which this perception has become an unfalsifiable religious conviction.
All of their well-laid plans have come apart, thanks primarily to one outsider who threw a massive monkey-wrench into the GOP machinery.
It’s hard to conceive of “Donald Trump” at this point as anything other than a 69-year con created by God for the strict purpose of stopping a third Bush from becoming president. Trump doesn’t have to win the nomination to execute this trick; he’s done enough already by changing the contours of what Republicans want on a fundamental level. The Bush campaign came into the election knowing that it would have to address concerns about dynasty and being considered a member of the establishment. It likely didn’t expect a bombastic (to put it generously) figure like Trump to come along and seize polling front-runner status by amplifying these weaknesses through gaudy but attention-grabbing performance art.
Once people get it in their heads that they’d prefer something new and fresh over something older and experienced, it’s difficult to change their minds back. Trump has essentially grabbed the primary electorate by the shoulders, shaken it, and said, Really? You want to consider Jeb Bush? Come to think of it, they really don’t.
Nearly a year ago, I predicted that "Jeb Bush has no chance of winning the presidency -- zero, none -- and anyone who tells him otherwise is lying or a paid political operative. Or, more likely, both.."
Hat tip: BadBlue News.