Marco Rubio Barnstorms Country On Eve of Super Tuesday

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Marco Rubio barnstormed across the country Monday, trading jabs with GOP presidential rival Donald Trump on the eve of Super Tuesday.

The Florida senator is working hard to promote himself as the alternative to the bombastic billionaire, whom he describes as a “con artist.” Rubio implored voters at rallies in Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas not to be taken in by the real estate mogul. He was scheduled to end the day at two rallies in Oklahoma.

“Name me a single great leader in human history that is saying the things, doing the things or acting the way he’s acting now,” Rubio said at an Atlanta rally Monday afternoon. “This is not who we can turn over this country to, or our party. So I ask you: go out there and let your friends know that tomorrow’s an important day.”

Rubio is not expected to win any of the 11 states on Super Tuesday: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. But he’s expected to capture dozens of delegates because those states award them on a proportional basis.

Trump has commanding leads everywhere but Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz is leading, according to polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Rubio’s strategy doesn’t depend on winning states now. If he scores enough second-place finishes in the next week to accumulate delegates, he could elbow past Cruz and emerge as Trump’s chief rival for the Republican nomination.

That, he hopes, will position him to win on March 15 in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio — states that award delegates on a winner-take-all basis — and change the momentum of the race.

As of Monday, Trump had 82 delegates, compared with 17 for Cruz, 16 for Rubio, six for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and four for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. On Tuesday, 595 delegates will be divvied up among the GOP candidates. A total 1,237 are needed to win the GOP nomination.

CNN/ORC poll issued Monday shows how far Trump’s opponents have to climb.

The national survey of 427 voters who describe themselves as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents found 49% support for Trump, 16% for Rubio, 15% for Cruz, 10% Carson, and 6% for Kasich.

The poll, conducted Wednesday though Saturday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. A month ago, the same poll found Trump’s support at 41%.

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SOURCE: Ledyard King
USATODAY