While there are rumers that U.S. Senate leaders are quietly urging Marco Rubio to opt out of the race for president, the bigger question is whether a campaign campaign can get enough oxygen with fellow Floridian Jeb Bush in the race.
Rubio insists he’s “not running against Jeb Bush” should he choose to make a White House bid and that he has his “own message” and financial supporters, but whether that network outside of Florida is extensive enough to compensate for donors already lost to Bush remains to be seen.
While Rubio has certainly lost quite a few, still others – including auto dealership billionaire Norman Braman – have publicly declared support for him bringing with them massive Republican donor networks.
Rubio’s appeal among donors was confirmed at the recent event hosted by the Koch Brothers in which a post-event poll of the donors in attendance gave Rubio top marks for the best overall performance.
Perhaps of greatest concern for Rubio so far is his anemic positioning in the early primary polls in which he finds himself, at best, among the middle of the pack at single digits. But, his operatives point out, it’s still very early.
And after all, that may not come with much concern when factored against what many analysts point to as more surprising: Jeb Bush’s low poll numbers which, according to the RCP Average, are hovering at a meager 15 points.