You can’t talk about primary coverage and ratings without mentioning Jeb Bush. The GOP candidate’s August rating is up a surprising and strong +19 points at 94. And like many of the leading candidates, Jeb hit a 4-year rating high this month and continues to outperform his trailing 12-month rating average by nearly +20 points. Across the 2016 presidential sector Bush moved up +10 positions against a strong competitive set of candidates. His strong August ratings place him in the #3 position going into the September media cycle.
While you’ll have to take our free trial for a spin to see the segment-level breakouts, Bush was up an amazing +40 points in social media segments, suggesting that his strong media showing across traditional media channels was igniting social media discussions and viral sharing.
Momentum is still negative, but if Bush can turn in another stellar media performance this month, his media momentum is bound to move into positive territory. But take a look at the candidate’s media value figure for August: $51,537,503. His 12-month cumulative media value total now sits at $152M. For perspective, Bush has raised $120M in campaign funds. Effectively, the candidate just exceeded his raised funding with his earned media value!
More than any other candidate, Jeb got a boost from comparisons and rebuttals to the meteoric rise of Donald Trump and the corresponding media feeding frenzy that followed. Bush was one of the first (along with Carly Fiorina) to openly criticize Trump and his role within the Republican Party. From immigration to international affairs, Bush went on the offensive against the current GOP frontrunner. And the media afforded the former Florida governor plenty of rope as they certainly needed a foil and sounding board to counter the Trump echo chamber.
But looking back, August may be the month where Jeb Bush finally caught the media’s eye. Through July Bush was pulling surprisingly low ratings given how much he has raised and spent in this election. He was also considered an early frontrunner by many political and media analysts. His slow start was partly by design. Now it looks like the gloves are coming off and the Bush media outreach effort has begun in earnest.