By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is tripling-down in Iowa ahead of Monday’s historic caucus, Save Jerseyans, launching a 30-minute (not second) television special in each and every single one of Iowa’s media markets.
What’s the thinking behind such a massive investment? Well, for starters, things haven’t been going so well in New Hampshire as of late as Senator Rubio’s opponents continue to gang up on him; the Super PAC of his former political mentor, Jeb Bush, has been particularly vicious, even going after the Rubio family’s credit card history (yup – I’ve lost a LOT of respect for Jeb Bush this cycle). But there’s real reason for optimism for Team Rubio in the Hawkeye State where the opposite polling trend is presenting itself.
The last nine polls there show Rubio solidly in third place behind Donald Trump (1st) and Ted Cruz (2nd), and while the Donald and Senator Cruz have seen their margin narrow in recent weeks, Rubio appears to be surging, trailing Cruz by only 8-points in the newly-released Des Moines Register survey.
Recent history suggests the DM poll could be even better news for Team Rubio than the face value of those numbers…
In 2012, the final Des Moines Register poll has three men competing for top spot: Mitt Romney (24%), Ron Paul (22%) and the ultimate underdog winner Rick Santorum (15%).
Today? Donald Trump (28%), Ted Cruz (23%), and Marco Rubio (15%).
Will Marco pull a Santorum-esque upset? Maybe. There are some notable differences between the cycles including in the front runner position where Trump – currently averaging a 6.2-point lead – appears to be a stronger, more consistent front runner than good old Mitt who averaged only a 1.3-point lead before ultimately losing to Rick Santorum by 0.1%. That being said, the caucus system is a little less harder to handicap since it rewards the vaunted “ground game” factor more than ordinary primaries for obvious reasons, and Trump’s deployment is allegedly problem-riddled and overly-reliant on so-called “lone wolf” caucus-goers while Rubio’s ground game is reportedly causing a major stir down the home stretch.
My best advice heading into Monday night in terms of expectations: don’t count on a surprise but don’t be surprised by one either, Save Jerseyans…