‘Little Marco’ Makes Big Move To Take Out Trump
Rubio Makes ‘Unprecedented’ Move With Potentially Huge Ramifications
It’s been two weeks since Senator Marco Rubio gave up his campaign for the GOP nomination, but his impact in determining the outcome is potentially massive. In fact, it’s not crazy to say he might be the most important person in deciding the Republican nominee right now.
NBC News reported Rubio sent letters — where he misspelled ‘United States’, can’t make that up — to 21 states and territories asking each to retain his 172 delegates for the convention. Normally, delegates are allowed to support whoever they freely choose once a candidate drops out of the race, but Rubio only ‘suspended’ his campaign and did not officially end it. By not releasing his delegates, Rubio shrinks the chance Donald Trump is able to garner enough delegates to win the nomination outright and avoid the contested convention.
Trump is currently sitting at 736 delegates and needs to win 56 percent of what is remaining to win the nomination. And since one-third of the outstanding delegates do not have their primary until June 7th, it’s highly unlikely we will see Trump wrap up a victory prior to the final day of the primary season, if at all.
Also complicating Trump’s path is the presence of John Kasich, who is sustaining his campaign despite being mathematically eliminated from winning the delegate race. Kasich is polling well enough to win the winner-take-all state of Pennsylvania and is garnering enough support elsewhere to block Trump from nabbing the necessary delegates. Kasich is pinning his presidential hopes on a miracle, since a convention rule essentially blocks him (or Rubio) from truly being considered, as reported by the AP:
An existing convention rule says a candidate must win at least eight states to be nominated at the convention, but the committee could change that rule, potentially lowering the threshold to five or three or eliminating it entirely.
‘Little Marco’ A Big Thorn In Trump’s Side
It’s Rubio’s move, however, that could be the final dagger in the Trump campaign. Trump could easily come within 100 delegates of the nomination and Rubio’s refusal to release his delegates would trigger the contested convention. And there is little doubt the Republican establishment will do everything in its power to push the nomination to Cruz at that point, despite a majority of Republican voters agreeing Trump should be supported at a contested convention. This is where things get truly messy for the GOP.
If the majority of voters are energized by Trump and the party blocks his nomination at the convention, turnout could become a significant problem. The primary numbers for the GOP have been good but a messy convention with an unpopular outcome could sink the candidate’s chances in the general election. And those chances don’t look good without the ugliness.
Rubio’s move might not seem like a hugely significant action on the surface but the implications are potentially incredible. And if Trump’s name isn’t on the ballot when November rolls around, we all might have Rubio to thank for that.
Featured image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.