It’s still early in the 2016 Republican presidential primary race, but things are not looking all that good for Sen. Marco Rubio. The most recent Mason-Dixon poll shows that Rubio has dropped 15 percentage points from former Governor Jeb Bush among Florida voters, in comparison to the previous Mason-Dixon poll that had Rubio and Bush virtually tied among the Republican electorate in the Sunshine State.
Why is Rubio down so much?
The factors that have caused Rubio’s campaign to begin to fade are Donald Trump, the entrance of Gov. Scott Walker to the race, and his support and co-sponsoring of the 2013 Senate immigration reform bill.
And let’s not forget that Rubio voted to end debate on the dreaded TPP trade agreement that both his colleagues in the Senate, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, opposed.
Rubio may have already sealed his presidential fate with his historic self-inflicted immigration reform gunshot of 2013.
In a Republican primary, immigration matters to the electorate, and the Donald Trumps of the world will use every opportunity to call out Rubio for his immigration misstep, regardless of Rubio’s backtracking on the issue.
But like I said, it is still very early. Rubio’s strengths lie in his stage presence and ability to deliver an inspirational speech.
The August 6th GOP presidential debate is a couple weeks away, and itcould turn out to be launching point of sorts for Rubio’s campaign.
Some will argue that Rubio is in the perfect position to make a run because he is hovering around in the middle of the pack. If that is the case, then Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, not to mention Dr. Ben Carson, are all in the same position as Rubio.
If these poll numbers in Florida hold somewhat true, Rubio will have to place very well in Iowa and South Carolina to have any chance of winning Florida.
Right now, Jeb Bush has the upperhand in Florida, but Walker, and possibly Trump, could make things interesting in the coming months.
Again, the upcoming debates could, and should, help create some distance between the Republican presidential candidates, as well as pump some oxygen into Rubio’s presidential campaign.
Then again, it could do the same thing for other presidential campaigns.