Marco Rubio's Lousy Campaign Meets Reality: Losing to Ted Cruz

If you’re a guy hoping to get into the White House, this is not the kind of headline you want to be getting in the middle of a presidential primary: "Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy, poorly run campaign killing his chances." You especially don’t want to see it when another guy is steadily stealing the second-place alternative role you’d been trying to stake out for yourself.

Rubio’s campaign has a couple of big problems. One is that it’s not much of a campaign. They thought that big endorsements and a telegenic candidate would take them where they needed go, but:

… Rubio’s game plan ran into reality — the #MarcoMentum strategy, as it’s been dubbed on social media, was covering up massive deficiencies inside the states that were voting. Rubio had little to no infrastructure inside those key states, and each effort began when he was so far behind that momentum meant very little. He ended up a distant third behind Cruz, whose campaign has run a more effective, traditional effort to find supporters and then get them to the polls.

Who would have thought that actual voter outreach and GOTV might be important? The other big problem with Rubio’s campaign, of course, is that the candidate is a lot like the campaign: Flashy on the surface, but not a lot to grab voters underneath it all. Meanwhile, the not-telegenic guy with the actual campaign is doing better:

Sen. Ted Cruz’s bid to become the chief alternative to Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump gained steam Saturday, as he secured commanding victories in the Kansas and Maine caucuses while Sen. Marco Rubio withered with a string of third-place finishes.

Rubio is holding a donor retreat this week, and if Tuesday comes and goes and he still doesn’t have more to show than Minnesota and Puerto Rico, that could be a hella awkward event.

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