Marco Rubio

I remember catching part of one of the early GOP debates and realizing that Marco Rubio scared the hell out me. He was too electable, and he could take big bites out of a potential Democratic majority in just the right places (e.g. Florida, New Mexico, Colorado and Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) to give the GOP enough electoral votes in November. I breathed a sigh of relief, though, as he was stumbling and obviously wasn’t in this for the long haul this year. I said–either in a Facebook post or on my blog, I can’t remember–that the threat of Rubio won’t be this year, but in four years, or eight. Now he comes in second in South Carolina (after a weak fourth place finish in new Hampshire) and is obviously here to stay for a while. Two thirds of Republicans in South Carolina voted against Donald Trump. Rubio, Cruz and three losers split that two thirds. One of the losers, Bush, a hundred million bucks in the hole, drops out and his supporters despise Trump. Kasich can’t stay in much longer and it’s hard to see his supporters flocking to Trump either. Carson’s supporters I don’t know about. But as this race goes along, and as Trump still leads in polls nearly every upcoming race through the end of March, I’m wondering if half of that two thirds of Republicans will shrug and follow Trump, giving him the numbers he needs to win the nomination, or will they wait till Cruz and Rubio battle to the death and throw all their support to the winner. If either can hold on, and begin to win primaries by the end of March, then they could beat Trump. And we might be left with Marco Rubio, and I think Democrats who laugh at him underestimate his potential appeal to lots and lots of people who otherwise would vote for a Democrat. Cruz is not a genuine threat. He’s too doctrinaire, roo mean, too strident, and too unlikeable. Trump is not a genuine threat, he’s just loathed by too many people. Rubio, though, might have a Reaganesque appeal, in which case we Democrats have positioned ourselves too far to the left to win. If Rubio could appeal to moderate independents, a Democrat, any Democrat, could lose. A conservative Republican president is not something I like to think about. Hence Marco Rubio is the biggest threat to Democrats, liberals and progressives that the Republicans currently have. Let’s hope Trump keeps winning.

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