Why Jeb Bush’s Paleo-Induced Corn Aversion Resonates With Voters

Why Jeb Bush’s Paleo-Induced Corn Aversion Resonates With Voters

Though it has been making him hangry, Jeb's corn aversion might pay off when it comes to snagging votes from Republicans.

Jeb Bush is staying away from corn. He doesn’t want to eat it or put it in his gas tank. As it turns out, a majority of republican voters share an aversion to those yellow grains.

The New York Post’s Page Six reported Monday that Bush has lost 45 pounds while sticking to a Paleo diet. If you’re like me — eat anything and everything, and don’t keep up to date about the latest diet trends — I’ll fill you in: corn is totally not Paleo-friendly. Seriously, if your paleo friends find you accidentally eating it because you thought it was a vegetable they will call you out. This particularly amusing blog post is dedicated to making it absolutely clear that corn is a grain, NOT A VEGETABLE like GMO pushers would lead you to believe.

Though it has been making him hangry, his corn aversion might pay off when it comes to snagging votes from Republicans. According to a study by Lake Research Partners, 56 percent of likely Republican voters oppose increasing the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline.

Here’s some context: in late May the EPA released their Renewable Fuel Standard guidelines for 2016 and retroactively set goals for 2014 and 2015. The guidelines mandate that petroleum refineries use a certain quantity of ethanol per year, and are set to be finalized in November. A majority of conservative voter’s don’t like feeding their cars with more corn, the study details.

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Bush is the most committed candidate when it comes to rejecting the mandated ethanol increase. In fact, he’s a corn teetotaler. He reportedly has been strictly following his caveman diet, which means he probably isn’t eating any corn at all. Bush has also recently spoken out against the EPA’s plan to increase ethanol use. Though his stance against corn could endanger him when it comes to the Iowa Caucus, it resonates well with the rest of the country.

On the same day as the study’s release, the period for public comment on the FRS rules closed. A lot of people had bad things to say about the rules. The American Motorcyclist Association delivered nearly 30,000 comments to the EPA objecting to the proposal. The AMA also sponsored the aforementioned survey.

Voters and motorcyclists aren’t the only ones nervous about the rising ethanol mandates. Oil refineries say they cannot use much more ethanol without hitting the “blend wall,” or the maximum amount of ethanol that can be added to fuel without messing up the engine in an older car or boat.

Currently about 10 percent of ethanol is mixed with fuel, known as E-10. Nine carmakers — including Toyota, Chrysler, and General Motors — have been quietly voiding warranties if owners use gas comprised of 15 percent ethanol, known as E-15. They warn the EPA that they won’t pay for engine damage caused by E-15 fuel in older cars, Hot Air reported. 

Damaging engines in an effort to supposedly help the environment isn’t a new game for the EPA. Remember the Cash For Clunkers program? Yeah, that cost taxpayers $3 billion and was an abysmal failure. 

Scientists also worry about the environmental toll that using corn for fuel will have on the environment. Ethanol is a cleaner fuel when burned, but it worsens the air quality when it is being produced, resulting in more deaths per year than producing gasoline.

Along with scientists, car manufactures, and oil refineries, Republican voters hate ethanol. Perhaps potentially angering voters will be enough to make 2016 hopefuls wary of hugging corn stalks in Iowa, or at the very least it should make them think twice about the RFS guidelines.

Let’s be real, we can expect to see photo ops of Presidential candidates yucking it up with constituents over a cob of corn, especially when they’re trying to garner support from Iowans. All except Jeb Bush, who can’t eat it.

Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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