Should Rubio Drop Out?

The press narrative is basically right:  Ted Cruz had a great night Saturday, somewhat at Donald Trump’s expense but much more at Marco Rubio’s.  However, neither Maine nor Kentucky had good polling there, so all you can say is that they didn’t reflect the national polling average – which isn’t saying much at this point.  Here’s how they did:

Trump Cruz Rubio Kasich
Projected Result Projected Result Projected Result Projected Result
Kansas 19 9 8 24 7 6 5 1
Kentucky 22 17 10 15 9 7 4 7
Louisiana* 22 18 12 17 0 0 0 0
Maine 12 9 5 12 5 0 0 2

Note that Louisiana didn’t post its rounding rules for congressional districts, so you have to wait on the state GOP to assign the remaining 11 delegates.  The same rounding problems are why our projection doesn’t add up to the actual.

All in all, though, Trump comes out about 15 delegates below projection, Rubio 8 below, and Cruz 33 above.  That’s a pretty big deal for Cruz, if for no other reason than it gives him some momentum ahead of March 15 and now makes him look like the main anti-Trump.

Trump still on pace to win, but Cruz strength may shift poll numbers.
Delegate projections March 6

It’s still a long road, and there’s probably no way that Rubio drops out before Florida (though there, remarkably, hasn’t been a poll there since February 24), but his strong second to Trump in delegate count (coupled with Rubio’s bad press night) could change the narrative. If Rubio wins Florida and Kasich wins Ohio, it’s hard to see either dropping out to clear the path for Cruz, but if they did, here’s what the math might look like:

Admittedly, this is an anti-Trump fantasy and not really based on current polls.
Admittedly, this is an anti-Trump fantasy and not really based on current polls.