That was the plan.
Maybe it would have worked! Who knows? Jeb Bush is gone, leaving us to hope that our actual homeland security can't be washed away by a raucous billionaire. But it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. The most recent poll in Florida, taken shortly before Iowa, had Bush in fifth place, behind even a post-collapse Ben Carson. Rubio was in third, with more than four times the support.
There are two lessons in there. The first is that even a focus on Florida couldn't make Bush successful in his home state. And second, even as one of the few remaining viable candidates, Rubio's in third place in his home state.
Of the four candidates still in the race (Carson having dropped out in spirit a few weeks ago), two are poised to win their home states, per the most recent polling, and two are not.
Sure, John Kasich is close in Ohio -- but only half of his supporters say they're committed to backing him. By contrast, 78 percent of Ohio Republicans backing Donald Trump say they're sticking with him. In Texas, Cruz's lead appears safer: About two-thirds of his support and two-thirds of Trump's say they're committed.
Buried in the state results are a lot of bits of data that may not be revelatory about the outcome but are nonetheless amazing.
Ohio: Trump, as in other places, is viewed slightly more favorably than unfavorably. His net favorability is plus-21, with about a third of Republicans viewing him negatively. John Kasich, governor of the state, is viewed much, much better: a net of +63, with 77 percent of the state's Republicans viewing him positively, according to Quinnipiac University. And he's down by 5 points.
Florida: That most-recent Florida poll is one from YouGov, a firm that has been grabbing a lot of headlines this cycle and which does Internet-based polling. It broke down the Florida vote by ethnicity, too. Rubio finished in third with white voters to Trump and Cruz, but finished in second with Hispanics, by 22 points. The winner of the 135 Hispanic respondents? Donald Trump, with 47 percent.
New York: Trump has a big lead in the Siena College poll, as you'd expect. But this doesn't mean that the businessman has a shot in the general. If he were to get the nomination and face off against Hillary Clinton, she leads him by 25 points. If he's running against Brooklyn-born Bernie Sanders? Sanders wins by 33.
(Incidentally, Clinton leads Sanders on the Democratic side by more than 20 points.)
Texas: This is the best one, which is why it is last.
The Texas Tribune and University of Texas surveyed people last week, trying to determine who would win that state's primaries. They included everyone on the ballot -- even people who'd dropped out. So Rand Paul got 2 percent, Carly Fiorina got 1 percent, Elizabeth Gray got 1 percent and poor old Lindsey Graham got zero.
Hm? Who's Elizabeth Gray? Well, that's a great question.
Elizabeth Gray paid her fee and got on the ballot, but no one seems to know who she is. One blogger tried to track her down, without luck. The paper in Taylor, Texas, where Gray apparently lives, somehow managed to contact her, only to learn that she's withdrawn from the race. That paper, the Taylor Press, is apparently trying to write a story on Gray, so stay tuned for that.
It also has a poll on its website, asking people who they plan to support for president. Donald Trump leads Cruz by almost 4 points.
So much for homeland security.