Sen. Marco Rubio is preparing for second place finishes in the Super Tuesday primary states in the South, but his campaign is increasingly looking to March 15 as the day he hopes to make a dramatic comeback.
Rubio repeated the date three times during an interview on Good Morning America — pointing out that he was confident he could compete for wins in states including Florida and Ohio.
“That’s where you have to start winning states and we feel very confident about where we’ll be come March 15th,” he explained.
While Rubio would prefer to win in some of the Super Tuesday primaries, he says he’s comfortable coming behind Trump and Cruz in some states because the delegates are awarded proportionally.
595 delegates are awarded on Super Tuesday including big states like Texas with 155 delegates.
Rubio wants to do well in states with high numbers of suburban voters in states like Minnesota and Virginia, and pick up enough delegates to remain competitive in the other states.
According to Real Clear Politics, Trump currently has 81 delegates while Rubio and Cruz are tied with 17 delegates each. John Kasich has six delegates and Ben Carson has four.
On March 15, 295 delegates are awarded in winner-take-all states including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. North Carolina also has a primary that day, awarding the 72 delegates proportionally.
The Ohio contest is one more reason why Rubio backers are eager for Governor John Kasich to exit the race — so they have a better chance of beating the billionaire candidate who is already polling first in the state.
Rubio plans to fight all the way to March 15, but his campaign could suffer a big momentum blow if he’s not competitive on Super Tuesday. In the meantime, he and his campaign are trying to shake up expectations.
“I have been saying this for a long time now,” Rubio said in an interview on Fox and Friends this morning. “This is an unusual election. Throw out everything you know about presidential politics because this year is very different. It’s been proven week after week.”