Breaking news: Rubio donors say he will drop out
Charles Gasparino at Fox News reports that top donors of the Rubio campaign told him that Rubio will drop out before Florida unless he sees better polls.
Were Rubio’s guys reading my blog this morning?
Of course, this rumor creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. It adds to the impression that Rubio is a lost cause, which depresses his poll numbers even further.
When Rubio drops out, will he endorse Kasich?
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Greg Pandatshang wrote in a comment:
Why would anybody drop out at this point? I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are regretting that they dropped out before. Anything could happen at a contested convention. Might as well stay in. Rubio and Kasich will always have a puncher’s chance unless Trump gets to 1,237 delegates.
As I explained in my answering comment, this represents a misunderstanding of how the convention rules work.
And I forgive everyone for not knowing the rules, because throughout my lifetime, there has never been a contested convention, they have just been media events and a party for the delegates. I had no idea about how conventions work until I started doing research the last few days, and I’m still not entirely sure.
But I believe that unless you actually go to the convention with a majority of the delegates, or close to a majority, the delegates don’t really mean anything because after the first round of voting the delegates become unbound and can vote for anyone they want. It may very well be that the Florida GOP stuffs their delegation with people loyal to Rubio, and they will support Rubio regardless of who wins the Florida primary (I would need to do some research into how Florida’s delegates actually get selected).
Rubio still won Minnesota, so if they change to rules so that anyone who won at least one state qualifies to be on the ballot, Rubio is there anyway. Under the existing rules, he’s not going to be a candidate at the convention because he won’t meet the eight-state requirement, even if he stays in. Even if he improbably wins Florida, two states is a lot fewer than eight states. (Rubio also won Puerto Rico, but that’s a territory and not a state.)
Staying in until the end, losing his home state, coming in 4th place everywhere, and being a spoiler to Kasich, is not a good image to present to the convention. It’s much better to show that he’s a team player by supporting Kasich in the best interests of the Republican Party.