GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio heads into tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary—the first primary election in the nation—in a somewhat precarious position.
Rubio had a solid 3rd-place finish in the Iowa caucuses last week. A strong performance in Saturday’s republican debate could have helped his cause in the New Hampshire primary. However, most experts agree that he struggled on stage over the weekend and did a poor job absorbing blows from his rivals, particularly Chris Christie.
Before the weekend, Marco Rubio was steadily gaining momentum. He had received key endorsements from backers like Elliot Funds manager Paul Singer and Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot. But his debate performance two days ago has been described as “robotic” and “rehearsed.” Christie and others have seized this opportunity to point out that Rubio lacks the authenticity and executive experience to lead the nation.
We will know more after the results of the New Hampshire primary tomorrow evening, but Rubio’s struggles in this latest debate may have long-term negative effects for the young senator from Florida. Christie told CNN that the party looked to be ready to anoint Rubio as their champion before the debate. Now, the New Jersey governor says, that idea is dead in the water.
If Marco Rubio is not the candidate to take on and defeat the Democratic Party, then who is? It’s likely, according to the latest polls, that Donald Trump will do well in New Hampshire. If that happens, and Ted Cruz follows his 2nd-place finish in Iowa with a similar result in the New Hampshire primary, it could be months before we have a clear front-runner.
Then there’s the question of Chris Christie? Did he do enough to gain some much needed support. After all, nobody was talking about him as a serious contender before Saturday’s debate. But now he’s being talked about as the candidate who most exposed Marco Rubio. Is that enough to give him some momentum?
All that being said, Marco Rubio is not dead in the water by any means, and it’s a safe bet that he will continue to fight. Is he hanging by a thread? Not really. But he does have an uphill battle if he wants to finish on top come July.