David Wasserman at 538 blogs:
This is the story of Barack Obama, but it could also be the story of Marco Rubio. The striking parallels between the two, beyond the obvious ethnic barrier-breaking nature of their candidacies, make Democratic strategists terrified to face Rubio in the fall. Yet the notion that Rubio is the “Republican Obama” also makes some GOP voters hesitant to support him.
There are a lot of complex analyses of the 2016 election floating around. My own theory is quite straightforward: If Hillary Clinton is the nominee — and she remains a heavy favorite over Bernie Sanders — her fate largely rests with Republican voters’ decisions over the next few months.
If Republicans nominate Rubio, they would have an excellent chance to beat Clinton by broadening their party’s appeal with moderates, millennials and Latinos. The GOP would also have an excellent chance to keep the Senate, hold onto a wide margin in the House and enjoy more control of federal government than they have in over a decade.
I agree. I think Rubio can win and win fairly easily. I think voters will choose a fresh face over an old one, especially one so associated with the current President. Only 30% of Americans think the country is heading in the right direction and want something better.
If they nominate Ted Cruz, Clinton would probably win, the GOP Senate majority would also be in peril and GOP House losses could climb well into the double digits. A Donald Trump nomination would not only make Clinton’s election very likely and raise the odds of a Democratic Senate; it could force down-ballot Republicans to repudiate Trump to survive, increase pressure on a center-right candidate to mount an independent bid and split the GOP asunder.
There is a lot at stake.
Select Rubio and you have the chance of a Republican President, Senate and House. But arguably even more importantly it may fix the make up of the Supreme Court for the next generation.
By the end of the next presidential term, the four oldest Supreme Court justices could retire. Their ages by the end of 2020 would be:
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87
- Antonin Scalia, 84
- Anthony Kennedy, 84
- Stephen Breyer, 82
If either Ginsburg or Breyer retire (or die) then the ability to pick and ratify the replacement will give conservative justices a majority that could last a generation or more.
Likewise if Kennedy retired, then the swing vote would become a conservative vote.
But if they pick Cruz or Trump and Clinton becomes President, not only won;t this happen, but for the first time in decades you could get a liberal majority. If Scalia retires or dies, the liberal Justices will gain a 5th member and the majority. The same applies if Kennedy retires.
In other words, if you’re a member of the Republican Party who wants to win in November, it’s basically Rubio or bust. The “Rubio or bust” theory relies on a process of elimination rather than an assessment of his biography, skills or ground game.
Polling shows Rubio can beat Clinton with white women, independents and seniors.
It’s hard to imagine Clinton matching the share of Latino voters that Obama won in 2012, 71 percent, against a Spanish-speaking son of immigrants who supported a bipartisan immigration reform bill. It’s also hard to imagine Clinton matching Obama’s 60 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds against a candidate two decades younger than she is. Finally, unlike in 2012, Democrats wouldn’t have the luxury of portraying the GOP nominee as a corporate robber baron who has never walked in voters’ shoes.
Clinton will not excite the left. She will play one the 1st women president card, but I don’t think that is enough against Rubio.