Marco Rubio is in denial that his presidential chances in 2016 are over. He has lost fourteen out of fifteen contests in the primary season so far, and his only victory is in Minnesota, a liberal state Republicans haven’t won in a general election since 1972. It’s time to call it quits.
The very junior senator from Florida says he’s sticking in the race until he can turn it around when the Sunshine State holds its primary on March 15, but Donald Trump holds a commanding 20-point lead over Rubio there in his home state, according to a Feb. 24-25 PPP poll. Other big primaries between now and then include Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Michigan, where Rubio is losing to Trump by 18, 17, 18, and 22 points respectively. So much for Marcomentum.
Even his followers are throwing in the towel in increasing numbers and want him to form an alliance with Ted Cruz to take on the frontrunner. On the morning after his disappointing Super Tuesday performance, an oblivious Marco tweeted out, “The media may treat me like an underdog, but I’m an underdog that can win.” Out of the first 25 replies on Twitter, 24 (95 percent) were negative, and many from his supporters. For example:
@TANSTAAFL23 tweeted, “Really, Marco, you’re a good guy and all, but pull out now and support Cruz.”
@eddierobbins tweeted, “Love you… voted for you… but… it’s time for you to join with @tedcruz or it’s over. #DoTheRightThing.”
@Pallamus tweeted, “I know it’s much to ask of you, but you cannot win. This is not your time. I would like to see you unite with Cruz instead.”
That last tweet hits the nail on the head. It is not Rubio’s time, no matter how much hack consultants try to argue that the guy who can’t win consistently in the primaries is somehow the only GOP candidate who could beat Hillary Clinton in the general election.
The Floridian’s fundamental problem is too many Republicans think Rubio can sound articulate enough but worry that he’s an empty suit. After all, he’s been running for one public office after another since he was 26 years old, yet his biggest accomplishment seems to be marrying a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. That’s not going to cut it in 2016 when voter anger with career politicians is the dominant mood of the election.
Brett M. Decker is a former editor for the Wall Street Journal and editorial page editor of the Washington Times. Follow him on Twitter @BrettMDecker.