Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

Erickson: Rubio should exit the race

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Conservative blogger Erick Erickson, a force behind the #NeverTrump movement, is calling on Marco Rubio to drop out of the race. His argument:

"Marco Rubio is a great guy, I pray for him regularly and care for him sincerely, almost all of my family and most of my friends have voted for him in the primaries and caucuses held so far, and it is time for Marco Rubio to withdraw from the race.

"If Rubio wins in Florida, which is no guarantee, he will not stop (Donald) Trump from winning the most delegates, but might stop Trump from getting to 1,237. That would create a floor fight at the convention and, if Trump has the most delegates and does not get the nomination, the Republican Party is f- - - - - for a generation at least. Heck, I'd help burn it down and I'm absolutely #NeverTrump. But the party would deserve annihilation if we got to that point.

"Rubio, even if he wins Florida, would have to sweep virtually 70% of the rest of the contests. Given his performance so far, that will not be easy and is absolutely not guaranteed."

New Florida polls

Pick your poison. Survey USA has a new, March 4-6 robo poll for Bay News 9 and News 13 that shows Trump leading Rubio among Florida Republicans by 20 percentage points, 42 percent to 22 percent, while Ted Cruz is nipping at Rubio's heels at 17 percent. Monmouth University on Monday released a poll conducted over roughly the same period that showed Trump leading by 8 percentage points.

Survey USA had Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders by 30 points, and Clinton essentially tied with Trump, Rubio and Cruz in general election matchups.

Cruz visits Miami

Cruz will make a play for Florida in Rubio's hometown of Miami today.

The 10 a.m. rally is at Miami Dade College's Chapman Conference Center.

Cruz has leaped ahead of Rubio in the delegate race and is making the argument that Rubio should withdraw. He'll no doubt play up his Cuban heritage.

PAC ad for Rubio

A new super PAC ad for Rubio blurs the lines about his parents' reason for leaving Cuba, suggesting they "fled dictatorship."

Rubio's parents are not exiles in the classic Cuban Miami sense. They left Cuba in 1956 for standard economic reasons. Fidel Castro took over in 1959. Fulgencio Batista was dictator but that's not what triggered Mario and Oriales Rubio to leave.

Votes hit 1.25M

High interest in Florida's presidential primary pushed total votes cast to 1.25 million through Monday. Pinellas County continues to report the most mail ballots of any county in Florida. The Department of State on Tuesday reported county-by-county totals of 938,265 returned mail ballots and 316,144 early votes cast for a total of 1,254,409. Republicans continue to vote in higher numbers than Democrats.

Adam C. Smith and Steve Bousquet contributed.

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