“The Sunday Political Brunch”—March 13, 2016
Sunday, March 13, 2016
“There’s No Place Like Home!” – Homecomings are great, but this year they may not be so warm for two candidates. On Tuesday Senator March Rubio (R-FL) and Governor John Kasich (R-OH), complete in their home state primaries. It’s due-or-die for both men, because it becomes hard to convince people in other states to vote for you, if you can’t win at home. Right now Kasich is polling much better in his home state of Ohio, than Rubio is polling in his home state of Florida.
“Weirdest Endorsement Ever” – .On Friday Rubio’s campaign issued the most bizarre endorsement I’ve ever heard in nearly 40 years of covering politics. Rubio suggested that his own supporters in Ohio, should instead vote for Kasich, as a way to keep Donald Trump from winning the Buckeye State. The latest Real Clear Politics composite poll of Ohio has it: Trump 36.5 percent; Kasich 34 percent; Senator Ted Cruz with 14 percent; and, Rubio with a mere 7 percent. It’s possible Kasich can win Ohio, with Rubio’s quasi-endorsement. I’ve never seen this done before!
“Rubio: Run for FL Governor” – Polls in Florida might explain Rubio’s generosity in Ohio. The latest poll in Florida indicate Rubio will be done on Tuesday. Real Clear Politics has it Trump 40 percent; Rubio 25; Cruz 18 percent; and Kasich 9. Rubio may lose badly - and not only that - Florida is a “winner take all” state meaning the runners-up get zero delegates. Ohio is also “winner-take-all” so Rubio is trying to deny Trump any delegates there, by urging people to vote for Kasich. If I were Rubio, I’d start preparing a campaign for Governor of Florida in 2018. It will make him more viable for the White House down the road.
“Carson Endorses Trump” – Former candidate Dr. Ben Carson endorsed Trump Friday. I’m not a big believer in endorsements. They make a splash of headlines for a day, then fade away. The Carson votes may help Trump around the margins in Ohio, but my guess is the impact will be nil. Trump was also endorsed by former candidate, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), but all that produced as a skit on Saturday Night Live (as I predicted it would last week).
“Trump Rally Cancelled” – A Trump rally Friday night in Chicago was cancelled due to threats of more violence. As Trump moves more towards the inevitability of the Republican nomination, my advice would be to tone down the incendiary rhetoric. He was smart the last two weeks, to hold press conferences in front of a whole bunch of flags on election night, instead of a raucous campaign rally. It makes him look more presidential. My gut tells me the Secret Service is worried for his safety, and there were credible threats Friday night.
“Cruz-Rubio Factor” – Marco Rubio – who despises Donald Trump – has a tough choice to make, after the Florida Primary. Does he drop out and stay neutral, or does he drop out and endorse Cruz. Here’s why I ask: right now Trump has 458 delegates and Cruz has 359. But if Rubio tosses his support and 151 delegates to Cruz, the combined delegate total for Cruz is 510, and Cruz jumps ahead of Trump. This week Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) became the only member of the U.S. Senate to endorse Cruz, who is very unpopular among his colleagues. Could Lee’s endorsement of Cruz be an ice-breaker for more Republican Senators to follow suit? Keep your eyes on Rubio!
“Ohio 17” – A court ruling on Friday could be a huge boost to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Ohio Primary. A judge ruled that anyone who is 17 in Ohio, may vote in this week’s primary, provided they will turn 18 by the time of the November election. Millennials love Sanders over Hillary Clinton by a huge margin. Sanders is fresh over a surprise win over Secretary Clinton in neighboring Michigan last week, and this might propel him to another industrial state win in Ohio. It could keep the Sanders movement arrive for a while longer.
“Other States”—Three other delegate-rich states also vote on Tuesday – Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri. Illinois has been consistently strong in recent years for Democrats, while Missouri has gone Republican. North Carolina was blue in 2008, but red in 2012. And certainly Florida and Ohio are the most important swing states of all. What happens on Tuesday is important for the primaries, but will also give us some hints about which way these five key states may swing in the fall.
This week’s question: Should Marco Rubio drop out and endorse another candidate? Let us know your thoughts by clicking the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
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