ANALYST: Jeb Bush now has a 50% chance of winning the GOP nomination

Jeb BushAPRepublican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during a visit to Thumbtack, an online startup.

One analyst thinks former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is the clear front-runner to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Greg Valliere, the chief political strategist at the Potomac Research Group, now pegs Bush’s odds of winning the nomination at 50%. That’s up from the 35% odds Potomac gave him in June.

“His campaign has stabilised after a terrible spring slump,” Valliere wrote in a research note.

Bush has been leading most Republican polls of the race, but has faced an insurgency in recent weeks from real-estate magnate Donald Trump, who doubled Bush’s support nationally in a poll released Monday by ABC and The Washington Post.

But Valliere, like most analysts, eventually expects Trump to flame out: He gives him a 0% chance of winning the GOP nomination. However, he thinks there’s a 35% chance he’ll run as a third-party candidate, which would make him the Republican Party’s “worst nightmare.”

“We’ve been (sort of) amused by this buffoon, but there was nothing funny about Trump’s ugly demagoguery this weekend. He’s toast,” Valliere wrote, referring to Trump’s remarks questioning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Arizona) status as a “war hero.”

Here are the full odds for Republicans, per Valliere:

  • Bush: 50%, up from 35%
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: 25%, the same as last month
  • US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida): 20%, down from 30% last month
  • Someone else: 5%

And for Democrats, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still the overwhelming favourite:

  • Clinton: 80%, the same as last month
  • Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet said whether he’ll run: 15%. (Valliere thinks there’s a 30% chance he will run.)
  • US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont): 5%

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