How quickly things change.
Not much more than a year ago conservatives were pleading with Mitt Romney to select Marco Rubio as his vice-presidential running-mate, Rand Paul was a 2010-winner footnote, and Ted Cruz was heading into a primary runoff election after placing a distant second in the first round of ballots for the Senate nomination out of Texas.
In January of 2013, Paul was hanging out in 5th place, Cruz wasn’t even mentioned (or heck, even sworn in yet), and Rubio had nearly 1 in 5 votes. Now? According to the latest PPP poll, Rubio has lost more than half of his support (from 22% in January to just 10% now) while Paul’s surge has seen him lead the poll for the first time, and Cruz break into double digits. Rubio now trails 5 candidates. The numbers:
Rand Paul 16%
Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan 13%
Ted Cruz 12%
Marco Rubio 10%
In May, our initial 2016 power rankings had Rubio on top (with an asterisk) and Cruz in fourth, despite trailing in polls. Of course, it will be awhile to see if this momentum continues. After all, Paul is also trending up. Will the two conservatives continue to try to outdo each other on the national stage?