In Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida, recent polls have Donald Trump up by double-digits. If Trump delivers an upset in Florida, Rubio might as well count himself out of the race, reports USA Today. Losing his home state would not only deliver a crushing blow to the Rubio campaign in terms of delegate numbers, it would be a symbolic victory for Donald Trump to trounce Marco Rubio – who Trump derisively calls “Little Marco” after their well-publicized feud on the debate stage last week.
Ted Cruz managed to deliver in his own home state of Texas, so how does Florida senator Marco Rubio lose in his home state, considering Rubio is neck and neck with Cruz in recent polls? Well, it turns out the people of Florida aren’t too happy with Marco Rubio, who some call an “absentee senator” for his poor voting record — the worst in the Senate, in fact. Not only, his critics say, does he not vote often enough to represent Florida’s interests in the U.S. Senate, he’s been absent from almost every vote of concern to Floridians.
The Florida primary is a little unlike other primaries this election cycle. For Florida, if a candidate wins a majority of the votes in the state, even by a single percentage point, that candidate gets all of Florida’s delegates. A win like that would be huge for any campaign, but for Rubio’s campaign it could be a turning point. It could slingshot Rubio back into the race, making him competitive again. Combined with Rubio’s surprise victory on Super Tuesday, Florida looks like Rubio’s only chance to get back into the race for President instead of the race for a vice presidential nod from the Cruz campaign, reports conservative blog the Blaze. But that seems like a long shot, according to commentators today.
Donald Trump wins Florida handily, according to the new poll from Quinnipiac University, with 45 percent of the vote to Marco Rubio’s 22 percent. Trump doubles Rubio’s numbers, and if the poll is accurate even by a few percentage points, it looks like the Rubio camp is in real trouble in the senator’s home state.
Rubio, for his part, has promised to win his home state — in part because of the political fallout he’d face beyond the presidential race if he should lose his own home state to Donald Trump. Trump, it’s worth noting, is the odds-on favorite to win the nomination by some observers, but the Republican establishment has poured all of its support into the Rubio campaign. The Florida Senator isn’t as much of an outsider as Ted Cruz, and he’s certainly better liked among the Republican leadership than the bellicose Donald Trump, who continues to make enemies of the Republican kingmakers in Washington, D.C., with his inflammatory comments.
Marco Rubio’s last stand against Donald Trump occurs on March 15, which gives Rubio precious little time to close the gap among Florida constituents who have been so far very dissatisfied with Rubio’s performance as a senator representing their state. Should Rubio lose to Trump, the Republican establishment will likely rally around Ted Cruz – who some among the establishment have criticized just as heavily as they have Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, Marco Rubio has dismissed the polls, which have been admittedly poor at predicting this election cycle’s biggest upsets, like Bernie Sanders’ big win in Michigan last night.
“We will beat Donald Trump [in Florida] the way we beat Charlie Crist, I have experience beating people who portray themselves to be one thing but are actually something else and you’re going to find that out on March 15 in Florida,” Rubio promised a packed crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]