2016 GOP Primary Q&A: John Dowless Analyzes Bush, Rubio Nomination Prospects

By  //  January 27, 2016

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2016 CAMPAIGN coverage

Less than one week after the CNBC Republican Debate, New Hampshire voters are showing new support for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

With the Iowa Caucus less than one week away, two candidates from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, hope to finish high enough among the wide field of Republican candidates to remain the race until the Florida primary on March 15.

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the Iowa Caucus less than one week away, two candidates from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, hope to finish high enough among the wide field of Republican candidates to remain the race until the Florida primary on March 15.  Orlando-based Republican media campaign consultant John Dowless took the time for a Q&A with Space Coast Daily regarding his opinions and predictions on Bush and Rubio’s respective prospects and strategies in the GOP primary election.

Dowless is a native Floridian with years of experience in Florida elections that includes two presidential campaigns, a United States Senate race and multiple state legislative races. Space Coast Daily welcomes all readers to contribute their thoughts on the 2016 election by emailing Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

Jeb Bush in Melbourne during a 2012 campaign rally for Mitt Romney.

Jeb Bush in Melbourne during a 2012 campaign rally for Mitt Romney.

SCD: With Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz dueling for first place in Iowa, many voters and analysts are watching Gov. Jeb Bush’s and Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaigns closely.

Jeb’s recent surge appears to have ebbed but he is still battling for top-half finish New Hampshire, where Rubio is  vying for a top-3 finish. Between Bush and Rubio, has the best chance to finish in the top 2 or 3 in New Hampshire?

DOWLESS: Rubio definitely has the best chance of finishing in the top two or three in New Hampshire, especially if he exceeds expectations in Iowa.

Rubio doesn’t have to win Iowa, just finish strong and exceed polling data. If Rubio does that, I believe many New Hampshire voters will jump to Rubio if they’re looking for an alternative to Cruz or Trump.

SCD: Do you see either Bush or Rubio dropping out if they finish below third in Iowa or New Hampshire?

DOWLESS: If Jeb performs poorly in the primaries leading up to Florida, I think he’ll drop out beforehand to protect his legacy as our former governor.

SCD: As Floridians we know Bush and Rubio were friends prior to the this campaign, dating back to their years as Florida Governor and Speaker of the Florida House, respectively.

When the first one exits the race and the other continues on to the next primary state, do you expect to see them show support for the other, or do you believe that the well too poisoned for either one of them to endorse the other now that they’re essentially rivals?

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Marco Rubio at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014.

DOWLESS: An endorsement won’t happen right away, but I think whoever secures the alternative to Cruz and Trump in the third slot will receive most of the endorsements of the candidates who drop out.

ABOUT JOHN DOWLESS:

Dowless is a native Floridian with years of experience in Florida elections that includes two presidential campaigns, a United States Senate race and multiple state legislative campaigns.

A 2015 FloridaPolitics.com story stated that “Dowless is regarded as the best consultant in Central Florida, going 7-0 Primary night last year and 14-2 for the Cycle.”  In 2014, Orlando Magazine named him to their “Twelve to Watch” list, which is an honorable mention to their Orlando 50 Most Powerful list.

In 2011, Dowless was elected to the Edgewood City Council and was then selected Council President by his fellow board members in 2013. He also currently serves on MetroPlan Orlando Municipal Advisory Committee for transportation needs.

Past appointments include Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ Economic Summits Commission, Orange County Membership, Missions and Review Board (MMRB), which is charged with recruiting and recommending citizens for Orange County’s official advisory boards, and LYNX Citizen Advisory Council.

Dowless graduated from Auburn University with a Business Degree in Economics and from the American Campaign Academy in Washington, DC. He currently resides in the Orlando area and serves and supports several charitable organizations including House the Hope for troubled teens, the Central Florida Employment Council, BETA Center, West Orange County Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Project, and Quest for those with developmental disabilities.


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