Is Jeb Really Too Liberal for the Base?

With all the hubbub about Jeb Bush’s prospective presidential aspirations, the question most often asked is whether Jeb can win over the conservative GOP base.

Citing his left-of-center position on immigration and his incessant press on Common Core, many conservative leaders have already declared him persona non grata even before anyone has officially announced.

The esteemed political blog Five Thirty Eight has responded to the question with one of the more insightful charts in a long while. In it, the blog compares all potential presidential candidates (and former presidents) against each other on a scale of absolute conservatism.

And to the surprise of many, Jeb’s full record puts him just a hair to the left of Ronald Reagan, likely due to his positions on immigration and education. What’s more, he’s positioned on the chart to the right of his father, the former president.

For comparison, Chris Christie is easily the farthest to the left of everyone and well outside a conservative buffer zone set between the average conservatism of the congressional Republican in 1980 and the congressional Republican today.

With Jeb’s trip to South Carolina set for next week, we should soon see whether he will be able to soften the opposition and convince staunch conservatives that he is a friend rather than a foe.