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Rubio’s Sinking Campaign

Byron York asks [1] why Rubio’s support keeps declining, and offers a possible answer:

For Rubio, though, something else is happening. “Rubio has an even bigger challenge,” said Castellanos. “Jeb Bush is beer, and Rubio is lite beer. [Bush] has a more mature brand in his category. Many voters see Rubio, charismatic as he is, as Jeb Bush without the experience. In NASCAR terms, Rubio is drafting behind Jeb’s car and only has a chance if Jeb’s car hits the wall and clears the way ahead, so voters can pay attention to him.”

I have assumed from the start that Rubio’s candidacy made no sense, especially when Bush was already going to be taking up the space that Rubio wants to occupy. This interpretation supports my view that Rubio isn’t likely to be competitive in the primaries next year and was never going to be so long as Bush was also in the race. The reason why many voters would see Rubio as “Bush without the experience” is that their domestic policy views are very similar, their political careers in Florida were closely linked, and their rhetoric on immigration and foreign policy has been virtually indistinguishable in the past. To the extent that Rubio has separated himself from Bush in these areas, he has done so by running away from his previous position on immigration and by emphasizing [2] his hard-line foreign policy views. In the process, he has made himself seem both more opportunistic and more ideological than Bush, and that doesn’t appear to be winning him much support. The question to ask about Rubio’s candidacy isn’t, “What happened to him?” but rather “why did he decide to run at all?”

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Rubio’s Sinking Campaign"

#1 Comment By Egypt Steve On August 5, 2015 @ 10:10 am

Is Rubio really “charismatic”? I don’t see it. But then, I wouldn’t.

#2 Comment By collin On August 5, 2015 @ 10:17 am

I actually thought his chances were better as he was everybody second choice and before Donald Rubio placed in a solid third place. (Donald suck the wind from him a lot.) Although he was a strong neocon, he appeared the most knowledgable of the candidates on foreign policy and came from a swing state. And considering his young age, a quality run in 2016 would place him for future endeavors.

However, it is still likely Donald will burn out and if he does early, the field is too wide open. (Although it is time to seriously think Donald could take it.) And the money fronter Jeb has not been very sharp in 2015 so field is still wide open.

#3 Comment By gk0821 On August 5, 2015 @ 10:43 am

While I agree with the premise that Rubio is pretty much just Bush light, I actually think that’s what makes him a viable candidate. The way I see it, Hillary’s main weakness is how long she and her husband have been in politics, and honestly I think the only person that CAN’T beat her is Jeb! because even though he personally was only a governor, the Bush name will take Hillary’s main weakness and make it a wash. If it was Hillary vs Rubio, even though Rubio has pretty much the same policies, the perception would be an old establishment elitist vs a new up and comer, which would highly favor Rubio in my opinion.

#4 Comment By Ron Beasley On August 5, 2015 @ 11:21 am

I must admit I always saw Rubio as a bit of an empty suit just repeating neocon and Republican talking points.

#5 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 5, 2015 @ 11:21 am

Sen. Rubio,

continues to cling to easing immigration. And there really isn’t a lot of depth is his thinking.

#6 Comment By Uncle Billy On August 5, 2015 @ 11:23 am

Rubio is young enough that he can run for another 20 years. Indeed, you wonder if Rubio really is going after the VP nomination in 2016? A Walker-Rubio ticket would make some sense, although Rubio would probably not pull the Hispanic votes that the GOP thinks he would. Rubio is under little pressure time wise, and his “window” may be more in 2020 or even 2024.

#7 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On August 5, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

Rubio has always seemed to me even shallower than his competitors. Perhaps it’s because in my dotage I am sensitive to the callowness of youth.

#8 Comment By Cliff On August 5, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

Do you recall the re-match between Newman and Gleason in “The Hustler”? It wasn’t Gleason who threw in the towel — it was his financial backer, played by George Scott.

It isn’t for Rubio (or any of the other candidates, except, I suppose, Trump) to decide whether he should drop out. That decision will be made by the paymasters. A personal presidential candidate is serious billionaire bling these days.

Reminds me of the Kent Bowman line: “K.K. Kaumanua will always run with your money.”

#9 Comment By CharleyCarp On August 5, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

Maybe by 2020 he’ll have some sort of accomplishment he can point to. Or maybe it’ll take until 2024.

#10 Comment By SF Bay On August 5, 2015 @ 1:28 pm

The thing is, Rubio is not running for re-election in Florida. He won’t be the nominee and if he doesn’t land on the ticket somewhere he will disappear to a large extent. Four years from now, he will be seen as a loser and have no platform to speak from.

#11 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 5, 2015 @ 1:41 pm


I am concerned that you even consider him an option. It doesn’t really matter, how helps to expans the size of governemnt, as seems most politicians these days, it’s that there doesn’t seem any heart for anything real.

If the only take is that he claims some latino heritage and oe fears that latinos are taking over the country and therefore Republicans had better hang on to him — the “American Experiment”, so called is an utter failure.

In many ways, the roullete game, of “black, woman, transgender, gay, back to white, then red . . .etc. as key indicators of eligibility

May be death throws of a Republic gone astray.