Ted Cruz’s campaign has been exploring the possibility of forming a unity ticket with ex-rival Marco Rubio — going so far as to conduct polling looking into how the two would perform in upcoming primary states.
The motivation, hashed out in conversations among Cruz’s top aides and donors: to find a way to halt Donald Trump’s march to the Republican nomination.
It’s unclear whether Cruz’s campaign brass views a partnership with Rubio as realistic or quixotic. In Rubio’s orbit, according to three sources, it’s seen as an outright nonstarter — with Rubio telling his team he isn’t interested.
Yet in recent weeks, within Cruz’s camp, talk of a joint ticket has run rampant. Utah Republican Mike Lee, one of two senators to endorse Cruz, has emerged as an outspoken supporter of a unity ticket — and as a potential broker. The freshman, according to several sources briefed on the talks, has reached out repeatedly to Rubio to gauge his interest, but has been rebuffed.
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