The sputtering presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio faces its last stand tomorrow in his home state of Florida — where an upset victory could offer him one final hope of political redemption at a brokered Republican convention.
Polls indicate Trump could be on track to capture four to five of the delegate-heavy states that hold primaries tomorrow — Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina and Illinois. Rubio is only competitive in Florida; Ohio Gov. John Kasich is neck-and-neck with Donald Trump in the Buckeye State.
Rubio has given his supporters dispensation to vote for Kasich in Ohio as a way to keep delegates from Trump, who needs 1,237 total delegates to seal the nomination and avoid a floor fight at the GOP convention in July.
“He recognizes that he can’t win the nomination,” D.C. Republican operative Ford O’Connell said of Rubio. “The only thing he can do is stop Trump from getting 1,237, conceivably.”
O’Connell noted Rubio — once regarded as the party’s most promising young conservative — suffered from not having a “natural base,” unlike Trump and Ted Cruz, and is likely to see donor funds dry up if he falters in Florida.
Rubio, who picked up 10 delegates in Washington, D.C., Saturday night, spent yesterday firing passionate salvos at the front-runner, warning that Trump is inciting violence against protesters at his rallies.