Just how dismal are the GOP's presidential prospects in 2016? Really dismal, as in abysmal.
The latest WaPo-ABC poll has Jeb Bush tied with Rand Paul, at 14 percent each, in Republican preferences. This effectively means Bush leads the entire pack with 28 percent, since soon after Iowa Sen. Paul will be but a misty, water-colored memory of the dreamy libertarian phenom he once was. (Mike Huckabee comes in at 13 percent, virtually all of which is constituted by fanatically fundamentalist Christians of an Iowan bent.)
I exaggerate, of course, but not much. To whom else will Paul supporters turn? Jingoists like Rubio (7 percent), Perry and Cruz (6 percent each)?
Chris Christie somehow scores 10 percent, so you can add that, too, to Bush's total. The remainder of the lineup's usual suspects includes either walking political cadavers such as Bobby Jindal (1 percent) or extraordinary mediocrities like Scott Walker and John Kasich (5 and 2, respectively).
Paul Ryan's 11 percent you can also throw to Bush, since there's reasonably good reason to believe that by 2016 Ryan will be the Bumbling chief administrator of some London poorhouse of Dickensian squalor.
So let us assume it's Jeb for the sacrifice. Presently, Hillary beats him nationally by 12 points. But just take a look at how she beats him by 12 points: non-white voters are behind Clinton by a margin of 54 percent; women are behind her by 23 percent; she has the young by nearly 30 points; and, astonishingly, Bush leads Clinton among white voters by only 4 (Mitt Romney won them by 20).
And what's Jeb out there talking about? The Common Core. Oh dear.