OPINION: Could Cruz/Rubio Be the Ticket? – Florida Will Decide
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OPINION: By Jason Marshall
Until Saturday, I hadn’t made a decision on who to support for the Republican nomination. Way back in November of 2015, I jumped on the Draft Scott Walker movement, in hopes that the guy who won three gubernatorial elections and survived a recall election, pushed by the unions of Wisconsin, would be the one that could take down the Democrats in November. That campaign didn’t go well, at all. In fact, the two candidates I supported these last two presidential elections, didn’t even make it to Iowa.
Then, I jumped to the Carly Fiorina campaign, after her strong 1st debate performance. I considered her to be a robust, intelligent, sharp lady that could bring an outside-the-beltway approach to Washington. Unfortunately for her, she too tanked. Fiorina dropped out before the campaign even headed to South Carolina. At this point, figuring out who would be the only conservative candidate that stood a chance at winning the nomination, and beat Hillary Clinton, was going to be a challenge.
We have now had 40% of the United States vote in Republican primaries and caucuses. Out of that 40%, Marco Rubio has only won 1 state, while Ted Cruz has won 5 states (Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Maine, Alaska). At this juncture, Senator Rubio would have to win 69% of the remaining delegates, to reach the magic number of 1,237, necessary to clinch the nomination. To date, Rubio has only won 15% of the total delegates that have been spoken for, and there is no realistic rationale that would suggest him winning 69% of the remaining delegates.
It’s important to me that the Republican Party’s nominee be a conservative with a conservative record. I’ve already outlined my reasons for not supporting Trump, so I won’t get into that again. Suffice to say, I believe the most conservative candidate who can win is the one that we need to choose. So, what makes me think that Cruz can win? Aside from the fact that he’s less than 100 delegates away from Trump, and many of the remaining states hold closed primaries, this should benefit Cruz in surpassing Trump’s delegate count. All four states that held elections, were closed primary states, and Cruz split them with Trump, 2-2. Mr. Rubio doesn’t have any real momentum, and it’s doubtful that he’ll carry Florida next week.
In head-to-head match-ups between Cruz and Clinton, Mr. Cruz fairs better than does Mr. Trump. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of polls shows Mrs. Clinton beating Mr. Trump, 45.4% to 42%. Senator Cruz defeats Clinton, 46.5% to 45%, while Rubio fairs the best against her, 48.5% to 43.5%. So, the only chance that he has at this point is a brokered convention. That’s really a worst case scenario for Republicans, and not something that I care to see happen; unless the nominee is someone I can’t support.
Senator Cruz’s candidacy was bolstered Saturday, as it was announced that he had won the CPAC Straw Poll, 40% to 30% over Senator Rubio. CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, held annually, and put together by the American Conservative Union, is a gathering of grassroots conservatives from across the country. Mr. Cruz’s conservative bona fides are evident: He opposes Obama’s executive amnesty, is in favor of repealing and replacing Obamacare; considers Israel to be a strong ally, believes that the late Justice Scalia needs to be replaced by a constitutional originalist, and has stood up for conservative principles, even when it meant turning off the political elites of Washington D.C. (as he refers to them, the Washington Cartel).
I like Marco Rubio a lot. I voted for him in the 2010 primary when he faced Charlie Crist – before Crist left the party and became an independent. I still have a Marco 2010 bumper sticker on my car. Ideally, I’d love to see a Cruz/Rubio ticket, combining Cruz’s staunch conservatism, with Rubio’s charismatic persona. He could help carry Florida and Ohio for the Republican ticket, virtually ensuring victory in November.
It’s time for the conservative base of the Republican Party, to unite behind Senator Ted Cruz. I know that Rubio won’t drop out before Florida; but when he loses Florida, he needs to join forces with Cruz. That, I believe is a winning ticket in November.
Ted Cruz is the conservative candidate that we need for president in 2016.