FLORIDA! FLORIDA! FLORIDA! chant the Rubio supporters as he is crushed in Mississippi and even Michigan. The Rubio voters would rather blame Ted Cruz than John Kasich who is taking votes from Rubio. In Michigan, Cruz won female voters. Think about that. He came in second having spent only $1,112 total while Rubio came in last after spending $1.2 million.
And having spent barely any funds in Michigan, Cruz and Kasich battled it out for second place in Michigan. Rubio, meanwhile, cratered out so badly in Michigan and Mississippi that he not only failed to hit the delegate threshold but that caused more bonus delegates for Trump’s run up to the magic 1,237 delegates. As of this writing, he performed no better in Idaho, with Cruz winning there. In fact, Cruz would have won all the delegates in Idaho had Rubio gotten out. Cruz would have gone into last night with more delegates than Trump had Rubio not played the spoiler in Maine and Texas.
Can we have some real talk now?
The odds of Rubio winning Florida in seven days is not guaranteed. Momentum goes in the direction of winners and Marco Rubio is decidedly not a winner right now. But he is awesome. And he will be an awesome former political star with no political future if the present trajectory continues.
So let me paint a picture for you.
We know in the stand alone races, Cruz beats Trump. We know that according to Rule 40 of the Republican Party, any person to stand for nomination for President has to have won the majority of delegates in eight states. Cruz has won three with that criteria and would have won more but for Rubio in the race. If Rubio could even win Florida, he would still struggle. Same with Kasich.
So instead, Rubio drops out and Cruz publicly declares Rubio is his running mate. They barnstorm the nation today with Rubio throwing the punches at Trump and Cruz talking about their vision for the future. They crisscross Florida raising voter awareness that voters need to vote for Cruz. They go to Missouri, North Carolina, etc.
Once they get through March 15th barnstorming the country together, they divide up the states with Rubio going as Cruz’s surrogate. Rubio hits New England. Cruz goes elsewhere. They have some joint events together.
Doing so shifts the conversation. Doing so forces voters to pay attention to the changed dynamic. And they head to Cleveland with either 1237 delegates for Cruz or at least more than Trump. It gives them a head start on having a general election ticket, which gives them an advantage over the Democrats.
In the process they unite the party. In the process they beat Trump. In the process they unite the party. In the process they start making the case against Hillary.
It can be done. It is possible. But the Marco Rubio supporters have to dare to believe and be willing to set aside grievances with Cruz to win.