Marco Rubio is a potential 2016 presidential contender for the Republican Party, and his popularity continues to quietly build, just as it did in the early stages of his improbable run for the U.S. Senate.
In a glimpse of this growing popularity, Rubio came out on top as the early choice for his party’s nomination in one of the first straw polls of the 2016 presidential race.
It was held in Washington state — 3,000 miles from Florida.
Rubio earned 37.4 percent of the vote, organizers at this year’s Roanoke Conference announced, according to the Seattle Times.
“Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who won the straw poll in 2011, was second with 9.9 percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (who last week urged the GOP to stop being “the stupid party”) got 8.2 percent,” the Times reported.
Another sign of Rubio’s blooming acclaim is that his name is being mentioned more and more on the Sunday morning talk shows, and this week was no exception.
While appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former House speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had some advice for Republicans: Listen to Sen. Marco Rubio.
Gingrich said Republicans have to reach out to a broader base to stay competitive in future elections.
“Republicans ought to listen very carefully to Marco Rubio,” he said. “You can’t lose Asians, Latinos, African Americans and young people and think you’re going to be competitive.”
Rubio detailed his vision on immigration reform in mid-January during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
And with President Obama set to debut his own plans for comprehensive immigration reform at an event Tuesday in Las Vegas, Rubio can expect his name to come up a lot in the media as the inevitable comparisons take place.
While the road to the White House is long and difficult, and Rubio has yet to declare an interest, this son of hard-working Cuban immigrants who toiled as a bartender and a maid has already covered a lot of ground.