Right from the outset of his nascent presidential campaign, Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is looking to recapture the grass-roots support that propelled him to the Senate as an underdog candidate in 2010. Rubio, who announced his White House bid on Monday in Miami, is giving backers a chance to label themselves ”Day One Supporters” with a handful of products for sale on his website until 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
The effort comes on the heels of a Politico report that highlighted Rubio’s drive and ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds when he ran for the Senate six years ago against then-Republican governor Charlie Crist, the establishment favorite, in the party primary. Rubio started that race as a former statehouse speaker with limited name recognition compared to the sitting governor, and his supporters called themselves the “Three Percent Club” in reference to his lackluster polling numbers early in the race. Over the course of several months, Rubio was able to win over enough support to surpass Crist, prompting the governor to drop out.
#related#Rubio finds himself in a slightly different position as his run for the presidency kicks off. He’s much more well-known nationally now than he was then, both among voters and GOP donors. He’s still polling in the single digits, however, as he was at the beginning of his race against Crist, and his campaign is attempting to capitalize on that fact to reclaim underdog status and once again use it to their advantage.
— Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online.