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How Far Jeb Bush Is Going To Stop Trump

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who dropped out of the Republican presidential race last month, announced this morning that he is endorsing Ted Cruz. It’s an anti-Trump, clothespin endorsement: Bush appealed to Republicans to “overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena.” And although Bush praised Cruz as a “consistent, principled conservative,” the two men come from completely different camps of the Republican Party.

The chart above shows our graphical conception of the Republican field — what we call the GOP’s “five-ring circus” — and how far across that field former presidential candidates have gone when choosing who to endorse. (There’s a healthy amount of subjectivity behind each candidate’s placement on that diagram, so take this all with a grain of salt.) Both Bush and Lindsey Graham traveled a ways along the circus floor — across the entire “establishment” ring and beyond — to arrive at their Cruz endorsements. Only Chris Christie’s endorsement of Trump, the GOP front-runner, looks like a bigger stretch, though admittedly, Trump’s placement here is extremely tenuous.

Still, Cruz has been mostly despised by Republican apparatchiks, and the above chart should give you a sense of the lengths some Republican Party “elites” are willing to go to stop Trump.

Ritchie King is senior editor for data visualization at FiveThirtyEight.

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