On Morning Joe today (yes, I still watch), there was considerable chatter about how Marco Rubio could appeal to both younger and Hispanic voters in a general election and thus be a problem for Hillary Clinton. This assumes, of course, that he could get to the general.
Harry Enten, who works at FiveThirtyEight, writes that when he and his colleagues talk around the office, they usually put Rubio in the top tier of GOP contenders, despite his current poor showing in the polls.
Rubio is both electable and conservative, and in optimal proportions. He’s in a position to satisfy the GOP establishment, tea party-aligned voters and social conservatives. In fact, Rubio’s argument for the GOP nomination looks a lot like Walker’s, and Rubio is more of a direct threat to the Wisconsin governor than he is to fellow Floridian Bush.
To win a presidential nomination, you need to make it past the party actors (i.e., elected officials and highly dedicated partisans). You can have all the strong early poll numbers in the world (hello, Rudy Giuliani), and your candidacy can still fail if party bigwigs come out against you. Rubio has a real chance of surviving — or even winning — the invisible (or endorsement) primary.
While Jeb Bush is not popular with the base and Walker is a relative unknown, at least in terms of how he will perform, Rubio could surprise everyone if he is as good at centre stage as so many think he could be.