Rubio’s candidacy seems like it could’ve been cooked up by a lab run by establishment GOP figures. He represented two of the groups Republicans struggled to reach in 2012: He was young(-ish) and Latino. And he was more conservative than Mitt Romney.
For the last several weeks, Rubio has geared his entire campaign towards his home state of Florida, but he has come up short there—CNN has called the state for Donald Trump—as he came up short nearly everywhere else. Two months into the primary season, one thing is very clear: Marco Rubio is no one’s first choice. And Florida, a winner-take-all state, is the first contest where no one can argue that coming in second is anything other than losing. Rubio hasn’t dropped out yet, but he’s cooked.
Donald Trump ran to his right on immigration and to his left on several other issues; Ted Cruz routed him with evangelicals and very conservative voters. No one was left for Little Marco, because he was reaching for an electorate that didn’t really exist: Voters who wanted a candidate who looked and sounded like a moderate, but whose policies were further to the right than any Republican candidate in recent memory.
Of course, Rubio did himself no favors when he tried to out-insult Donald Trump. His strengths were cosmetic, and jumping into the mud with Donald took that away from him. And he certainly did no favors when he leaked coolant all over the debate stage after Chris Christie exsanguinated him.
Now, Rubio is left with nothing. His Senate seat is gone and his presidential campaign is over. All that’s left is humiliating gifs.