Sen. Marco Rubio’s fall from grace as a conservative stalwart in the Republican Party is well-documented. His all-in push for comprehensive immigration reform went down in flames last year, killing his conservative credentials in the process (although he’s now working overtime to earn them back). And yet virtually everyone in the Beltway Media Complex still considers him to be a viable contender in 2016; Floridians, however, aren’t so sure.
A new poll conducted by Rasmussen exclusively in Florida shows support for a Marco Rubio run in 2016 is lukewarm at best; the vast majority of respondents want him to sit this one out:
Marco Rubio’s name has been on virtually every short list of Republican presidential candidates since he was elected to the Senate in 2010, but voters in his home state of Florida are not enthusiastic about him seeking the White House.
A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey finds that only 21% of Likely Florida Voters think Rubio should run for the presidency in 2016. Fifty-two percent (52%) oppose a presidential bid by the first-term senator and former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Twenty-six percent (26%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
It’s worth noting that if Rubio runs for president in 2016, he’s barred by state law from also running for re-election -- not that he would anyway. So it’s one or the other. And with a crowded field, he might ultimately decide to wait and take his chances running for re-election. It's also exceedingly unlikely, according to insiders, that he’ll take the plunge if Jeb Bush follows his brother’s advice and declares himself a candidate. After all, his path to the nomination would face all sorts of roadblocks if Jeb’s vying for the nomination, too.
Rubio will probably run for president at some point, as he’s a rising GOP star. But as likely voters in Florida have made abundantly clear, 2016 might not be the right political moment for him to do so.