“FIRST IN THE SOUTH” FLAMEOUT ON THE HORIZON?
On Tuesday morning, a report in National Review Online revealed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s strategy for capturing the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
“According to multiple Rubio allies recently briefed on campaign strategy, the senator’s team has settled on an unconventional path to winning the GOP primary contest,” NRO’s Tim Alberta wrote. “The strategy, dubbed ‘3-2-1’ by some who have been briefed on it, forecasts a sequence in which Rubio takes third place in Iowa on February 1, finishes second in New Hampshire on February 9, and wins South Carolina on February 20.”
Rubio is currently struggling to maintain his hold on third-place in early-voting South Carolina. In fact former establishment front-runner Jeb Bush – Rubio’s one-time political mentor – has been eating into his support in the Palmetto State.
Nonetheless … the delusion continues …
“From there, Rubio would be well-positioned in the long haul to win a plurality of voters, and ultimately a majority of delegates, in a three-way contest against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” Alberta added.
Curiously, the day after Alberta’s report posted, the Associated Press ran a report outlining Rubio’s “long-haul” strategy to win the GOP nomination.
“In a year when voters appear to be rejecting insiders, Rubio has struggled to tap the anti-establishment anger, putting him behind Cruz and Trump with time running out before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses,” reporters Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples noted. “Facing that reality, Rubio’s team has conceded he’s unlikely to win any of the first three contests: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.”
That’s quite a trip. One day, one outlet reports that Rubio advisors are banking on a Palmetto State victory … on the next, another outlet is quoting Rubio advisors as saying he’s not going to win the “First in the South” primary.
“In the course of a day, he’s gone from winning in South Carolina to unlikely to win,” an advisor to one of Rubio’s establishment rivals told us.
Hmmm … wonder why?
Oh right … it could be anything.
Either way, Rubio supporters can’t help but be discouraged by the mixed messaging. They also can’t help but be discouraged by rumors that Rubio is pulling staff out of South Carolina at a time when he desperately needs to be shoring up support among the dwindling GOP establishment bloc of voters.