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Jeb Bush has Big Lead Over Marco Rubio in the Money Chase

March 4, 2015 - 6:00pm

Marco Rubio is starting to find out, with Jeb Bush in the picture, hell need to take his fundraising to a far different level if he wants to make a viable White House bid.

Rubios presidential hopes got a badly needed lift on Thursday as Norman Brennan said he would spend up to $10 million to help get Rubio in the White House. Not a bad day for Rubio, especially if Brennan can open up some doors for him.

But Bush is in a very different league when it comes to fundraising. Bushs people are already saying their candidate is going to bring in $100 million in the first quarter of 2015 alone. That shatters what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or George W. Bush ever brought in.

Bush is, of course, increasingly the choice of the Republican establishment. Chris Christie has simply collapsed while Mitt Romney is staying out this time. That will only help Bush, especially with fundraising. To be sure, Bush needs more than money to win the Republican nomination but it will help him considerably, especially as the various conservative candidates will start beating each other up.

Rubio is not in a bad position if other candidates blow up. Case in point, a new poll from Gravis of Florida Republicans. Bush is ahead in his home state with 23 percent with Scott Walker right on his tail with 22 percent. Rubio is far behind them in third with 11 percent.

But if the race comes down to Bush and Rubio, it draws much closer. Bush gets 40 percent and Rubio is within the margin of error at 36 percent.

Rubio is in a strange position. Besides Walker, Rubio is probably more acceptable to most of the various factions within the Republican Party. If some of the more conservative candidates collapse -- like they did in 2012 -- Rubio has as good a shot as anyone in taking advantage of the situation.

But Rubio will need money to go the distance. Hell never be at Bushs level but then he will never draw the hostility from conservatives that the former Florida governor does. Getting Brennan on board is a good first step in that direction.

Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

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