By Sam Shikora (Political Editor).
Sometimes, slow and steady does not win the race.
Throughout his campaign, Florida senator Marco Rubio has picked his battles and tried his best, but in the next few days he will probably call it quits.
Like Jeb Bush, his campaign started with high hopes of receiving the GOP nomination. However, more right-wing, candid hopefuls like Donald Trump and
Ted Cruz have won primaries and destroyed his confidence.
To this day, the only primaries that Rubio has won are Minnesota and Puerto Rico. Since Super Tuesday, he’s been lagging behind Trump and Cruz and has been struggling to even finish second.
According to Eric Fehrnstrom of The Boston Globe, Rubio’s attempts to counteract Trump’s relevance have backfired on him in recent weeks.
“If candidates are like actors in a play, then Rubio is the young, idealistic party leader with a hopeful message. By imitating Trump, Rubio stepped out of character, and voters punished him for it,” he said.
Rubio’s remaining hope is his home state of Florida, which has its primary on March 15th. Since Florida is a winner-take-all state, he needs to finish in first. RealClear Politics projects Donald Trump to win Florida, with a current lead of 15 points over Rubio.
Many believe that the bigwigs of the GOP have been advising Rubio to quit the race, despite his establishment views, to divert votes away from Trump and towards either Ted Cruz or John Kasich.
Fehrnstrom argues that having establishment views was exactly what Republican voters were not looking for. “More recently, as the stop-Trump forces talked up Rubio as their potential savior, he began looking like the favorite of the establishment, the kiss of death this election year.”
Although Rubio was the clear winner of the Florida GOP debate, Politico Campaigns Editor says it won’t matter. Both Trump and Rubio were docile in the debate, which is surprising given their characters throughout their campaigns.
Since the next significant stop on the campaign trail is the Florida primary, expect Rubio to stay in the race at least until the Florida results come in.
That same day, March 15th, Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and the North Mariana Islands will be having their primaries. Kasich will be looking for a victory in Ohio, as well as a less likely one in Illinois.