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Dan Gilmore / February 4, 2016

Has Rubio Timed His Surge Impeccably?

The fact he’s doing well is an encouraging sign for conservatism.

The politician to watch in this lap of the Republican presidential primary is Marco Rubio. Many GOP candidates have had their day in the sun. For example, there was interest in Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson but their popularity waned. Interest in Rubio comes just when it matters the most — when the party is casting its votes. During the Iowa Caucuses he went from the perception that he was mired in the middle of the pack with the likes of Jeb Bush and Carson to finishing with a strong, third-place finish, just a percentage point behind Donald Trump. With the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, the question has become how Rubio will perform in the state where Trump leads by a wide, albeit narrowing, margin.

Rubio has surged in the polls in the past few days, and if he performs as well with late deciders in New Hampshire as he did in Iowa, it could be a good night for him next Tuesday. But more telling than some suspect pollaganda is the number of endorsements that Rubio has collected. The statistic wonks over at FiveThirtyEight reports Rubio collected more endorsements from leaders in the GOP than any other candidate. “There has been a lot of debate this presidential campaign about how much influence party elites have on the nominating process,” FiveThirtyEight’s Aaron Bycoffe writes, “but endorsements have historically been among the best signs of which candidates will succeed in primaries.”

Recently, Rubio has received endorsements from the likes of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). With South Carolina’s delegation supporting the Florida senator, it might not be long before the governor of the Palmetto State, Nikki Haley, also endorses Rubio. The Establishment and its faux conservatism backs Trump, so it’s worth reiterating that both Cruz and Rubio stand for strong conservative principles. As we noted after the results in Iowa, Rubio pulls nearly universal perfect ratings from the American Conservative Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Right to Life and the NRA. The fact he’s doing well is an encouraging sign for conservatism and Liberty.

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