Trump’s New Ad Attacking Rubio Shows That Florida Will Be The Worst Primary Yet

There has been some $10 million spent on flaming anti-Trump ads in Florida already, and now there’s this from Trump’s campaign savaging Rubio…

And this, from an excerpt of Trump’s press release announcing the release of the spot…

Mr. Trump stated, “Lightweight Senator Marco Rubio is a dishonest person. He has cheated with credit cards, and does favors for lobbyists. In my opinion, he is a total crook and I am doing the people of Florida a great favor by further exposing him. In addition to everything else, he is an absentee Senator with one of the worst voting records in the history of the United States Senate, instead preferring to spend his time begging for campaign contributions. He takes his orders from the Republican establishment and Super PACs who are spending millions of dollars to keep their puppet alive and well so he will continue to do what they say. Former Prosecutor and now Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, exposed him on the debate stage for being what he is – a choke artist. We are now going a step further.”

To be fair, here’s a sampling of the anti-Trump ads hitting the airwaves in Florida…

That spot will hit in the Florida panhandle, and it’s the one the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs and were the subject of a Trump tweet threatening them along the lines of what they have to hide, is funding through a PAC called American Future Fund, fronted by conservative activist Ned Ryun. The PAC’s total ad buy is $2.75 million.

They’re airing multiple spots, including this…

and this…

Another PAC in the mix is Our Principles PAC, which is fronted by former Romney staffer Katie Packer. Here’s a spot they’re running…

And the Rubio-affiliated Conservative Solutions PAC has this one running…

It all leads up to what’s going to be perhaps the ugliest fight ever in the Sunshine State. If Rubio doesn’t beat Trump he’s done, and despite reports to the contrary it looks like Ted Cruz isn’t going to play much there – he’ll focus on Missouri and North Carolina that day – so the fight looks like a relatively mano-y-mano affair. The GOP establishment is with Rubio, though the question is whether they want anybody to be too aware of that.

Should Rubio win Florida it’s likely the last hurrah for his campaign, but since it’s a winner-take-all state the haul of delegates he’ll pick up could be enough to make it difficult for Trump to get to 1237.

And at that point there could well be a unity ticket with Cruz and Rubio which combines the delegates of the two and creates a consensus at the convention – though Cruz rightly notes that it’s a terrible mistake for anyone to be touting a brokered convention at this point. There should be a winner before then, or else Trump is likely to mount a third-party run and take many of his supporters with him. But if Rubio were to win Florida and bring his delegates to the ticket, while Cruz continues the momentum from Saturday’s races, the unity ticket is quite possibly capable of getting to 1237 before Trump can.

As for Florida, it’s a close fight. A Monmouth poll out today has it Trump 38, Rubio 30. A poll that Our Principles PAC released a couple of days ago gave Trump a 35-30 advantage over Rubio. So the race in Florida isn’t the blowout it was billed to be, and if Trump underperforms his polling like he did in Louisiana he could have some trouble.

Then again, Florida is winner-take-all. Trump wins by half a point, he still gets 99 delegates.

And that’s why Florida is going to be as ugly as they come.

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