Marco Rubio issues call for tactical voting ahead of Florida primary

Polls show the Senator losing to Donald Trump in the winner-take-all primary, a result that would end his candidacy

David Usborne
West Palm Beach
Saturday 12 March 2016 23:21
Marco Rubio has told supporters in Ohio not to vote for him
Marco Rubio has told supporters in Ohio not to vote for him

It was a wan Marco Rubio, the US Senator from Florida, who alighted from his bus at the Temple Beth El synagogue in West Palm Beach to denounce Donald Trump for being soft in his support for Israel. But it was Tuesday’s Republican primary in the state that was on his mind.

Polls show Senator Rubio losing to Mr Trump in the winner-take-all primary on Tuesday, a result that would spell the end of his candidacy.

But the Rubio campaign, as it faces possible oblivion, is at the last moment asking for something rarely uttered in presidential nomination battles: some tactical voting.

Mr Rubio implored supporters of the other two runners, Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich of Ohio, to tick his name on Tuesday instead, as the only sure way to deny Mr Trump victory and slow his momentum.

“A vote for Ted Cruz or a vote for John Kasich in Florida is a vote for Donald Trump,” Mr Rubio said. “The only one who has a chance to beat Donald Trump in Florida is me and any vote that doesn’t go to me in essence is helping Donald Trump to win.” He likewise released his supporters in Ohio, which also votes on Tuesday, to do the same – skip him and make sure Mr Kasich prevails over Mr Trump.

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