On Monday, Jeb Bush said he could vote for neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton.
On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders finally endorsed Hillary Clinton, though he said “it is no secret” that she and he “disagree on a number of issues.”
It also is no secret that a large portion of the U.S. public finds both looming major-party presidential nominees alarmingly lacking in what they expect from the nation’s highest elected official. Assorted polls reflect those understandable concerns, with remarkably high “negative” numbers for both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton.
And an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday showed the race tightening, with Mrs. Clinton’s lead slipping from five points to three — 47 to 44 percent.
Of course, July polls don’t decide November elections.
However, July conventions can — and not just for who wins the Oval Office.
That makes the Republican convention next week in Cleveland and the Democratic convention a week later in Philadelphia crucial television time for the candidates — and for viewing voters.
Unfortunately, what Jeb Bush said about both virtually certain nominees rings all too true with millions of Americans. The former Florida governor grimly assessed the president-picking alternatives in an interview on MSNBC:
“The simple fact is there’s a threshold past which anybody who steps in the Oval Office must go past. And I don’t think either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump go past that threshold. If you believe like I do that the presidency is sacred ground and you want a president who upholds the Constitution, and I don’t think either of the candidates fulfill that primary kind of objective, then I can’t vote for either one of them.”
Then again, more than 13 million people voted for Mr. Trump in the Republican primaries and caucuses, a GOP record in a race that started with a very crowded field. And Mr. Bush, who had been deemed the favorite going into the race by some misguided pundits, fared dismally in the early contests, then dropped out after finishing a distant third with a mere 7.8 percent of the S.C. primary vote.
As for Mrs. Clinton, nearly 17 million people voted for her in the mostly two-person Democratic race.
Still, if you’re among the many Americans who share Jeb Bush’s dim view of the GOP and Democratic nominees, there will be other presidential candidates on the ballots in most states, including South Carolina. The most prominent of those options, so far, is Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t joined Jeb Bush — and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — in rejecting the possibility of voting for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, prepare to check out their convention acceptance speeches.
Maybe one of them will be able to make a convincing case for your vote.
Or to choose the lesser of two evils.
Or even to go the third-party route by casting a protest ballot.