Here’s Where Marco Rubio Gets His Campaign Money

The first two Republicans to declare their presidential ambitions—Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky—will most likely battle each other for a limited pool of funds donated by true-red conservatives. Marco Rubio, the third Republican to declare his candidacy, has a much better shot at corralling serious corporate money.

Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, isn’t well-known among ordinary Americans. Though he delivered a well-regarded speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, his greatest claim to fame may be the awkward reach for a water bottle during his 2013 response to President Obama’s State of the Union address—duly satirized by Saturday Night Live. 

But business leaders aiming to anoint a Republican president have been paying attention to Rubio for a while. As a 43-year-old Cuban-American, Rubio is a fresh face able to appeal to Hispanic voters deemed essential to winning key states like Florida.

Politically, Rubio has been migrating from the limited-government, Tea Party edge of the GOP toward the mainstream, aligning himself with business interests seeking modest reforms rather than the radical downsizing of government. “Rubio has positioned himself as an establishment candidate with appeal to grass-roots conservatives,” says Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who advised the McCain presidential campaign in 2008. “He knows he needs to keep the car between two white lines and appeal to the rank-and-file Republican voter."

Read more from Rick Newman at Yahoo! Finance

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Analysis & Political Strategy