Friday, January 29, 2016

It's Time to Coalesce Behind Rubio

Dear Republican Primary Voter,

The time has come to vote, and I'm asking you to pull the lever, check the box, punch the chad, or tap the touchscreen for Marco Rubio.

Now, maybe you like your candidate more than Rubio.  I certainly have my favorites.  As the campaign began, I had high hopes for Jeb Bush and John Kasich.  Chris Christie has occasionally surprised me at his ability to come back from the proverbial dead.  

But the political environment has changed since 2012 -- I don't think any of these so-called "establishment" candidates can unite a fractured party given the populist uprising that has vaulted Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (and earlier in the season, Ben Carson) to the forefront.

By the same token, a Trump or Cruz nomination would be disastrous not just for Republicans but for the country as well, handing the nation's highest office to Hillary Clinton (or perhaps Bernie Sanders).  You may like Trump or Cruz, and occasionally when I really squint I can maybe see why.  But as an establishment-type Republican myself, I must frankly break it to you that the moderate wing of our party, much less independents or Democrats, will never warm to their shrill fear-mongering and unwillingness to compromise.  Whether in the primaries, on the convention floor, or at the general election in November, they will lose.

Marco Rubio is unique among the candidates.  He alone can both unite the disparate wings of the Republican party AND beat the Democratic nominee in the fall.  He might not be everyone's top choice but he has broad popularity both within and outside the Republican Party.

He is a staunch conservative but not in the irritating, unyielding way Ted Cruz has conducted himself.  He can appeal to moderates and liberals because he knows how to articulate the conservative argument.  And while the ethnicity of a candidate shouldn't drive votes, Rubio's Cuban heritage might at least cause some minority voters to give his platform a second look.

Rubio has seen his numbers rise recently in Iowa.  He doesn't need to win, but he should come in a strong third on Monday.  There is even a chance that he could shoot the gap past the Cruz/Trump bloc for a surprise victory.

Rubio's standing has fallen a bit lately in New Hampshire, now essentially tying with Bush for fourth behind Trump, Kasich, and Cruz in the polls.  But a strong finish in Iowa could change that.  After New Hampshire, or shortly thereafter, Rubio will be the last viable candidate standing and will eventually slay Trump to be our party's nominee.

I love you, Jeb! Bush; John Kasich -- it's been real.  But after Rubio's February 9th primary victory in New Hampshire, I humbly ask you and the other candidates to please step aside and let him ride the wave to the nomination unimpeded.

And so, my fellow Republicans -- get out there and vote.  Just remember: it's gotta be Rubio.


The Sensible Conservative

P.S. If you don't trust me, read this from Charles Krauthammer or this from FiveThirtyEight.  Also, here's a fascinating article on why Trump has gotten so popular.

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