"They are adapting to new GOP winds and trying to put themselves in the strongest possible position," said Darrell M. West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institute. "This means getting tough on the Common Core, which conservatives hate. It also means becoming more negative on comprehensive immigration reform and making sure they are supportive of Israel."
"Things have changed substantially in domestic and foreign policy, so candidates have to move with the times and make sure their views are in sync with likely primary voters," he said. "They need to do this now so it doesn't seem as opportunistic to voters in 2016. By then, they can say they have held certain positions for several years."