90 Miles From Tyranny : Marco Rubio Is A Serious Contender With Wide Appeal..

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Marco Rubio Is A Serious Contender With Wide Appeal..

By HARRY ENTEN - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign, which officially kicks off Monday, has so far attracted paltry support from Republican voters, according to polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as nationally. He’s down near Chris Christie! Yet, when we talk about him in the FiveThirtyEight office, we usually put Rubio in the top tier, in front of everyone except Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, the two candidates at the top of the polls.
Why? Rubio is both electable and conservative, and in optimal proportions. He’s in a position to satisfy the GOP establishment, tea party-aligned voters and social conservatives. In fact, Rubio’s argument for the GOP nomination looks a lot like Walker’s, and Rubio is more of a direct threat to the Wisconsin governor than he is to fellow Floridian Bush.

To win a presidential nomination, you need to make it past the party actors (i.e., elected officials and highly dedicated partisans). You can have all the strong early poll numbers in the world (hello, Rudy Giuliani), and your candidacy can still fail if party bigwigs come out against you. Rubio has a real chance of surviving — or even winning — the invisible (or endorsement) primary.

Rubio doesn’t have the flaws the other two official GOP candidates have. He’s a hawk on foreign policy (with an 89 percent conservative foreign policy score in National Journal’s vote ratings), so he’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of Rand Paul’s candidacy. And Rubio isn’t anywhere near as extreme as Ted Cruz and has not alienated his fellow senators, so we shouldn’t expect mainstream party members coming out of the woodwork to stop Rubio. But he’s a solid conservative; statistical ideological ratings put him right in line with the average Republican in the...
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1 comment:

  1. Rubio has big TEA problems. Although he was backed by the TP he never was a TP candidate. He is actually the quintessential establishment Republican and a lot of his stances burn them. Many TP people feel betrayed by some of his votes and will never vote in a primary for him. Me, not so much, I always realized from the get go that he was lesser of two evils and not a TP


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