Tomorrow is the first time in my adult life that my primary vote will actually mean something.
Having lived in Ohio for nearly four decades prior to moving to Georgia, the primary season was always all but over by the time the vote got to Ohio (which only moved up in the primary schedule this year).
This year I will cast a vote to help decide the nominee for the Republican party.
And I choose Marco Rubio.
The truth is that I could flip a coin to choose between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and be perfectly happy with the outcome.
I think they are two of the finest candidates to appear on a ballot in my lifetime. I initially looked forward to deciding between those two and Governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker. But once the executives dropped out of the race, my choice has never wavered from being between Rubio and Cruz.
For most of the last several months, I have leaned toward Cruz. But after the last debate, I am leaning toward Rubio.
And it just so happens to be the day before the primary in Georgia.
So here are some key strategic reasons, not intended to be exhaustive, why I am voting for Marco Rubio.
- Stop Trump. I believe Donald Trump represent the greatest threat to the republic since Barack Obama. Maybe worse, because he has no chance of winning and will destroy the Republican party and the conservative movement for a generation in the process of losing to an otherwise unelectable candidate—Hillary Clinton. So my choice for Rubio is heavily influenced by a desire to stop Trump.
- Rubio has the best chance of stopping Trump in Georgia. The latest polls all show Rubio in second in Georgia. But those polls are all rather dated. Since those polls took place, something significant happened—Rubio took on Trump and won handily at the debate in Houston. Ted Cruz performed well also, don’t get me wrong. But Rubio led the attack and did so with strategry that reminded me of Ted Cruz and style that reminded me of Reagan. Since the debate, Rubio has been rising in Georgia. I attended his rally in Kennesaw Saturday—his largest campaign event to date. Rubiomomentum is real. After his debate performance, I sense that undecideds are breaking in his direction. It’s just a gut perception based on anecdotal evidence and my own take on human psychology, but I suspect there are many like me who had leaned toward Cruz who are now leaning toward Rubio headed into Super Tuesday. Rubio scheduled several more campaign stops in the Atlanta area since Saturday which tells me they are seeing the same thing—a chance to steal Georgia from Cruz and perhaps Trump, as well. My vote for Rubio here in Georgia is primarily based on the reality that he has the best chance to stop the con artist Donald Trump. Trump’s latest refusal to disavow the KKK and play dumb as to who David Duke is, the exposure of his fake Trump University, and now the news about his poor judgment on Trump Mortgage all tell me momentum is headed away from The Donald and most likely toward Rubio.
- Rubio has the advantage at this stage of the campaign. Cruz took a hit to his greatest asset his credibility and has not yet recovered. Ted is a man of great integrity, but he allowed too many of Trump’s accusations to go unanswered and let Trump wrongfully brand his campaign as disingenuous. Rubio brings a fresh face and broad appeal and the electoral map favors him going forward.
Cruz supporters and Rubio supporters need to come to terms with the fact that the two candidates are 98% alike. I like them both.
Only style points separate them. It’s time to stop quibbling about the 2%, and unite around one candidate who can win given the facts on the ground at this stage of the process.
I expect we will have a surprisingly strong performance by Rubio on Super Tuesday across the board.
That doesn’t mean people will wake up fast enough to stop Trump from winning several states, but it does mean that Rubio could unexpectedly claim second on Tuesday.
I agree with Erick Erickson that the third-place candidate—whoever that may be after Tuesday—should step aside and get behind the second-place one for the good of the country.
In Georgia, Rubio has the best chance of winning and stopping Trump. So he gets my vote.
By the way, in tomorrow’s episode of The FaithWalker’s Podcast I share and explain my process for choosing candidates as a Christian.
I don’t talk about any specific candidates, just unpack the process I use as a believer and share it in the hopes that it might be of help to you.
UPDATE: Two new polls released on Monday, February, 29, 2016, show Rubio in second outside the margin of error.
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