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“Master Of The Expectations Game”: Marco Rubio Loses To Trump By 22 Points In Nevada, Says Trump ‘Underperformed’

Marco Rubio may not be good at winning primary elections, but he’s the all-time master of the expectations game. And since the “true winner” of the Republican nomination isn’t determined by delegate count but by “news cycles won,” the former Florida senator has this thing nearly locked up.

First, there was Rubio’s triumph in Iowa, where he spun a third-place finish into a landslide victory. Then, by carefully sabotaging himself in New Hampshire, the senator set himself up for a second-place “win” in South Carolina. But Tuesday night in Nevada Rubio took his game to whole different level.

At first things didn’t look so great for Marco — Donald Trump did beat him by 22 points in the state’s caucus. But on Fox News Wednesday morning, Rubio revealed that drawing roughly half of Trump’s support in Nevada was actually a come-from-behind win in the expectations game.

“Last time, Mitt Romney got over 50 percent, so Donald Trump actually underperformed [what] Mitt Romney did, not once but twice in this state,” Rubio explained to Fox & Friends, referring to the 2008 and 2012 primary races.

Rubio is to spinning defeat as Steph Curry is to the three-pointer, and this was Marco’s half-court shot.

Just think about the degree of difficulty here: Mitt Romney is the most famous Mormon politician of our era. He won Nevada in 2012 by collecting 95 percent of the Mormon vote. Trump, on the other hand, had his Muslim-ban proposal officially condemned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December. And the Donald enjoys no other comparable demographic advantage in the Silver State — there is no large community of Queens-born heirs to real-estate fortunes in the region. What’s more, Rubio was once a member of the Mormon Church, and leveraging that connection was the heart of his own strategy in Nevada.

And yet, against all odds, Rubio was able to push the words “Donald Trump actually underperformed” through his lips.

Rubio’s triumph in Nevada should give him plenty of momentum going into the big expectations games on Super Tuesday. After all, the Florida senator has now established that he is so bad at winning elections that when another candidate beats him by a mere 22 points, that’s an underperformance. Using this metric, Donald Trump is likely to underperform in several states next week.


By: Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, February 24, 2016

February 25, 2016 - Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP Primaries, Marco Rubio | , , , , ,


  1. Sounds familiar. That’s what MSNBS and Sanders’ supporters have been saying about Hillary. They maybe right, but Hillary has been at a disadvantage here…. how can she win over Free Stuff ?


    Comment by renxkyoko | February 25, 2016 | Reply

    • Good point! I still think she will win anyway.


      Comment by raemd95 | February 25, 2016 | Reply

  2. Apparently, there were some shenanigans at several polling places, so the margin of victory is in question. It reminds me of big city politics back 120 years ago.


    Comment by Keith | February 25, 2016 | Reply

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