The Corner

Rubio’s Iowa Slide

While in Iowa covering Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, I kept hearing about another senator: Marco Rubio. Many Hawkeye State conservatives say they’re frustrated with him, due to his work on immigration reform.

“He has been seriously hobbled — we’re talking about long-term damage,” says Chuck Laudner, a veteran Iowa Republican who helped Rick Santorum win the 2012 caucuses. “Most conservatives feel burned, and he doesn’t have a lot of allies in the state defending him.”

Iowa’s talk-radio hosts have been particularly brutal. Steve Deace, an influential Christian conservative, has warned Rubio not to even show up, and has often taunted him during broadcasts. “Zip, zilch, nada — he’s got no support, he would be dead on arrival,” Deace tells me. “He may end up running for president, but he can’t win here.”

Rubio’s allies aren’t fretting:

“You can’t start writing the script for the caucuses this summer,” says David Kochel, a strategist for Mitt Romney’s Iowa campaign. “Rubio may be getting heat, but he’ll get a substantial amount of credit, too, for doing something to fix a broken system.”

Doug Gross, a former Iowa GOP gubernatorial nominee, agrees. “All of this criticism toward Rubio is coming from a few extremists who don’t represent the whole party,” he says. “Marco Rubio is a good man and principled conservative, and he’ll have strong support.”

The latest Public Policy Polling survey shows Rubio with 11 percent support among Iowa Republicans — a five-point drop since February. But, as PPP’s Tom Jensen observes, Rubio’s “favorability rating is basically unchanged,” and almost identical to Rick Santorum, who won the 2012 caucuses.

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion

of Marco Rubio?

Favorable……………………………………………….. 54%

Unfavorable ……………………………………………. 14%

Not sure …………………………………………………. 33%

Read my report here.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his editor, I’m going to have to keep this short. I’ve spent most of every day this week in a studio recording the audiobook version of my dead-tree/pixel ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More