There is a lot of talk on the far right that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has “blown” his presidential chances for 2016. The more charitable side in this discussion says he’s been damaged but has time to “recover.” In fact, all of this is baseless.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that he has an approval rating of 51 – 35 percent in his home state. As for immigration, while Florida voters overall disapprove of his handling of immigration, “Rubio’s problem on immigration isn’t with Republicans, however. Fifty-two percent of Republicans support him on immigration. Only 19 percent of Democrats approve and 32 percent of independents. Among Hispanics, 36 percent approve and 39 percent disapprove. That suggests voters are associating Rubio with the tougher border security and enforcement aspects of the legislation.”
In early June, Gallup found his approval up from May. He went from 26 to 18 percent approval, up to 37 to 22 percent approval.
In early June, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Rubio had 45-6 favorable rating with conservatives. (Among all Republicans his approval goes to 49 percent.) In mid-June in Colorado, Rubio beat both former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden in a potential face-off.
In the sole robocall poll in which anti-immigration reform right-wingers are celebrating, Rubio still enjoys a 58 to 16 percent favorability rating with Republicans. (That is supposedly “likely voters” in a poll, virtually impossible to determine three years out, that didn’t do well in 2012.)
Rubio may or may not run for president in 2016. He may or may not win the nomination. But the evidence of some ghastly decline in his favorability is based most on chatter among the same right-wing pundits and talk-show hosts who were furious with the Gang of 8. Maybe, you know, they don’t like him, but Republicans and even conservatives more generally do. We will keep an eye on it.
But given there is scant evidence now of any harm to Rubio, this chatter seems to be the personification of the right-wing echo chamber. In point of fact, these same voices disliked the last two GOP presidential nominees, so maybe they are not a great barometer of Republicans’ views.