Rubio Urged to Pick State He Can Win

“A nagging problem hovers over Sen. Marco Rubio as he crisscrosses the country seeking support in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states with the first four nominating contests: With a month and a half until the voting begins, he still has not committed himself fully to trying to win any of them,” the New York Times reports.

“Some Rubio backers in the early states are voicing concern about whether Mr. Rubio is leaving voters there with the impression that he does not need them to win. And some of Mr. Rubio’s own aides are now arguing privately that they should do more to push back against the belief that he is running an indifferent campaign before it becomes too widespread.”

For members: Can Marco Rubio even win a primary?

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  • Rondova

    If he doesn’t target New Hampshire, he’s an idiot. He needs Bush, Kasich, and Christie out of the race as early as possible if he wants a chance at catching Trump and Cruz, and to do that he’ll need to beat them in New Hampshire.

    In Iowa, he just needs to avoid doing so badly that his chances in NH are damaged.

    • TracyS711

      Totally agree. It seems so obvious that NH should be the goal that I wonder why this is even a question for them. Be the top placing establishment candidate in Iowa (might not be too hard for him at this point) and try to propel that into winning NH.

    • Matt Drabek

      Totally agree. His #1 threat right now is Christie’s surge in New Hampshire. He needs to target NH hard, hope Trump loses Iowa to Cruz, and try to gobble up the NH supporters of both Trump and Christie. His goal should be to make it a two man race between him and Cruz.

  • KBowe

    Nevada seems like a natural. He lived there as a kid and has relatives there still. His parents (and his NV relatives) worked as service workers in hotels. And of course it has a large hispanic population and he has a close to a pro immigrant position someone in the GOP can have.

    • Jimmy LaSalvia

      Winning the 4th state is tall order if he ends up well down the list in the first three. He needs to do well and try somewhere before Nevada. He doesn’t need to win, but he has to work hard and place well somewhere before there.

      • JavaMan

        Ok. Hypothetical Rubio finishes:

        IA – 4th
        NH – 2nd (close top 3 cluster)
        SC – 3rd or worse
        NV – 1st (assuming good things)

        I don’t think that’s enough to surge in the SEC states, which is half of March 1st, and after which momentum should be set.

        I agree with you very much on the implications of his inability to capitalize before NV. I, like many here, think overwhelming presence in NH seems to be the necessary presence.

    • esro

      His parents having been service workers in hotels is probably not the first thing I’d bring up with that Nevada wingnut demographic he’s trying to attract.

    • kevinb

      The biggest problem with the Nevada option is that it is a state that typically gets hardly any coverage compared to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. By the time Nevada votes everyone will likely have already shifted their attention to Super Tuesday.

    • gjetsonpdx

      Nevada was my first thought too, due to the level of applause he got there at the debate Tuesday night. But I agree that NH makes more sense due to early narrative and momentum. Plus he’s in second in NH polling now.

    • YvonneofNC

      Why on earth would voters care that his parents worked in a NV hotel 40 years ago? That’s like all of that conventional wisdom that Romney could win Michigan because his father had been governor 50 years ago.

      • Exactly, and Romney’s ties to Michigan were so much stronger (father didn’t just work the, he was the chief executive, and didn’t Mitt grow up there?) and still didn’t mean diddilly.

        • He felt the trees there were the right height, too.

      • lostintheswamp

        well, in case latino voters forget he’s a republican ….

        • YvonneofNC

          Well, that’s kind of hard to do if he’s running in a republican primary.

    • I just he has to fight in all states, and have decent finishes, besides pick up certain voting groups. I just don’t like the whole target one specific states, given the candidate has to do well in all the varied early primary states.. It is also a sign that Rubio may be in trouble, (well, all candidates will be trouble, given there can only be one winner in the end)

  • alrudder

    Nevada might be a natural place for him, he spent some of his boyhood there. But it is a Caucus and I doubt he has the organization or fervent popular following needed.
    This is a fateful decision, or indecision, that could be a case study in a broadly appealing candidate not concentrating resources strategically.

  • Dem2016

    Rubio doesn’t have Presidential gravitas. He’s not charismatic, he has a natural frown on his face (like a pug), and he can’t speak extemporaneously and sound real (Trump does this easily). In short, he gets lost in Trump’s shadow,

  • esro

    Whoopsie, the empty suit is getting caught in the act of being an empty suit! Too bad, so sad.

  • kevinb

    If he thinks he can just ignore the early states, he is going to end up flaming out just like Rudy Giuliani.

  • Tamburello1994

    How about FLORIDA?

    • brainscoop

      Poor Rubio (R-Trumpland)

    • BarryR

      It might be too late by then.

    • Florida is an expensive state for candidates besides it is not a good state to stage a comeback.. Rubio has to show by the Florida primary he is formidable opponent to get money to replenish the coffers. It is stupid to make a big stand in any one state while neglecting or writing off the other primaries..

  • brainscoop

    NH is the obvious choice; I don’t think NV is gonna cut it. But considering his NH polling, he’d best not commit publicly to winning there. He hasn’t publicly picked an early state because there isn’t one he can be reasonably sure of winning. Maybe he could vow to take Hawaii.

  • frankelee

    He’s still a fall-to candidate competing with Bush for the “reality primary,” along with maybe someone else yet unknown (as a realistic candidate). It would be hard to push your chips into any one place at the expense of the others. Though he MAY need to do so before Trump, Carson, and probably Cruz lose their luster.

  • Silent_Partner

    This remains his biggest problem. He’s not going to win any of them and then what? Hold on as an underdog until Florida? He should have concentrated all of his energy in either IA or NH, but he’s not that bright.

    • embo66

      I think Rubio suffers from a sort of scatter-brained-ness — where his superficially intelligent mind distracts him, makes him think he is smarter and more organized than he really is.

      Could help explain why he apparently frittered away millions, too.

  • ryp

    He needs to either win NH or show a strong second in both IA and NH, with Cruz and Trump splitting the wins. Rubio’s plan has always been to outlast Bush, and then be the only remotely electable candidate going up against Trump or Cruz.

  • ralph_wiggam

    Don’t you mean FIND a state he can win?

  • chucktranberg

    And polls indicate he can’t even depend on his homestate of Florida. I guess if I were him I would go all-out in Nevada.

  • BarryR

    He has to finish a good third in NH or he’s pretty much dead. He has to knock Christie and Bush out of the race before SC. The narrative of the race will be written quickly, by Super Tuesday it will be all about positioning with delegate totals. He risks being just a favorite son by the time they get to FL, which won’t work.

  • richo123

    Hamlet Rubio just isn’t surging like he was meant to.

    Instead the GOP establishment are stuck with wacko birds.

    Better luck in 2020 guys.

  • Comradebillyboy

    Rubio is not interested in doing his job as a Senator, he doesn’t seem to actually want to do the hard work of campaigning for votes. All he does is suck up to Adelson and the republican donor class. Empty suit looking for handouts.

  • I just see this as more a Rudy Giuiliani strategy in 2008, and it doesn’t work. Just have a good campaign, campaign hard, and hopefully the polls will pay off. Putting all eggs in one basket, or make a big stand in one state, never really works for the primary races…

  • 1Jeremybozz1

    New Hampshire and Nevada will be key as will his neighboring state of Georgia on March 1. Florida is the big,winner take all prize on March 15.

  • artigiano

    Rubio knows that Hillary is unbeatable and he also knows that successful GOP nominees are the ones who have shown well in previous campaigns that they lost. That’s why he doesn’t care about ground game. He doesn’t even want to win. He just wants to be a leading contender in 2024

  • Allan Williams

    It always seemed like Rubio was running for VP or setting up a Governor run. I think it surprised him how Bush and Walker et. al. collapsed and left him the most likely establishment candidate. He never really set up any state campaigns.