As you may have heard, South Carolina’s very popular incumbent Governor Nikki Haley has decided to endorse Marco Rubio, coming off his 3rd place Iowa finish and 5th place New Hampshire result. She has made pretty clear that her main investment is in opposition to Donald Trump. And her endorsement of Rubio is pretty devastating for Jeb Bush, whose numbers seem to be flagging in the state even after a pretty solid debate performance and new haircut.
But the biggest thing to draw from this news is that establishment Republicans simply can’t let Rubio’s campaign die. He does have some upward movement in South Carolina, as you can see in the poll chart. But by any regular metric, party stakeholders should be abandoning Rubio in droves. And to a certain extent they are, if you hear what they say. But what they do is quite different. Sort of like the lonely Private Ryan who so many others sacrificed their lives to bring home, he can’t be allowed to die. No many how many times he stumbles or chokes or gets parched, establishment Republicans will not give up. If there wasn’t a Marco Rubio, Republicans would have to invent him. And now they kind of are, or perhaps trying to resuscitate him. Maybe the It’s A Weekend at Rubies.
And the reason isn’t surprising, because the alternative is Trump or Cruz.