Congratulations to Senator Marco Rubio on an outstanding performance in the Iowa Caucus on Monday night. Coming in with 23%of the votes, Rubio finished third, with Donald Trump coming in second at 24%, and Ted Cruz winning with 28%.
So why is third place cause for celebration? First, Rubio outperformed the polls, which had him finishing with an average of 15%. Second, he was within one percent of Donald Trump, who has essentially been the frontrunner for the GOP throughout the primary season. Third, as pollster Patrick Murray said,
“The Florida senator was the clear favorite of caucus-goers who were most concerned about electability. He took 43 percent among voters who said winning the general election in November was their most important candidate quality. He also won about four-in-10 of those caucus-goers who valued political experience over outsider status.”
With Dr. Ben Carson finishing behind Rubio with 9%, it is evident that this is now officially a three-man race for the GOP nomination.
In a charismatic and inspirational fifteen-minute speech, delivered sans notes or teleprompter, Marco Rubio thanked God, his family, and Iowans for their help and support in securing this victory for his campaign. Standing on stage with his wife Jeanette, and his four children, Rubio talked about his vision for the country, and about his own personal story,
“I was raised by people who came to this country with nothing, they barely spoke English at the time. They had no money. My father stopped going to school when he was nine years old, he had to go work. He would never go back to school. He would work for the next 70 years of his life. When my parents arrived in this country they struggled. They were discouraged but they persevered. Less than a decade after they arrived here with nothing, my father a bartender on Miami beach, they owned a home. Not a mansion, but a safe and stable home in a safe and stable neighborhood.”
This success for Senator Rubio energizes his base, and places him in an excellent position going into next week’s New Hampshire primary, and beyond. In 2012, Mitt Romney came in second in the Iowa caucus, and went on to win the GOP nomination. In 2008, John McCain came in fourth in Iowa, and ultimately won the GOP nomination.
In 1988, George H. W. Bush came in third in Iowa and not only won the nomination, but also the presidency. In 1980, Ronald Reagan came in second, also winning the nomination and presidency.
With Rubio’s detractors calling him the “establishment” candidate, he has now usurped the position of Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie, all of whom finished with less than 4% of the votes in Iowa. Tonight, Governor Mike Huckabee, who finished with 3%, has suspended his campaign, and will likely be followed by other candidates in the days to come.
Watching the coverage of the caucus results on Fox News, Marco Rubio’s surprising finish monopolized a great deal of the chatter among the pundits, and his speech aired before that of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. One commentator referred to Rubio’s message tonight and his presence on the stage, as reminiscent of President Kennedy.
Senator Rubio also received another piece of good news tonight, as he secured the coveted endorsement of Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the U. S. Senate. Scott’s endorsement was sought after by Jeb Bush, and is expected to exemplify Rubio’s ability to unite the Republican Party. With the South Carolina primary less than three weeks away, the endorsement will be an added boost to Rubio, in a state where he is already slated to have a strong showing.
Politics. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. tus.” (Murray)