Realize how counterproductive and damaging this narrative is for Marco Rubio if he wants to reach out to the traditional Republican base. It reminded me of a phrase in an excellent analysis of Donald Trump's appeal by Alastair Roberts:
"The American white working class—to which a disproportionate number of evangelicals belong—are well aware that they are hated and pathologized by upper middle class coastal liberals, who dominate key institutions in American life."Through his extreme realism Donald Trump succeeds in channeling this anger and frustration, while Tim Scott only fuels it with the lie that every American can become a US Senator. History teaches us that a successfull Republican candidate for President will need to find a path that engages both today's realists and today's idealists.
With a little abstraction one can see how the approach proposed by Governor John Kasich could create this path to victory by threading the needle between these two extremes. On the one hand putting the hard work into engaging the voters, with compassion, dedication and fun. In stark contrast to Marco Rubio who visited New Hampshire only a few times until recently. And on the other hand boldly rejecting the harsh rhetoric on immigration reform, and health care reform.
After last night's debate, for which debate coach Todd Graham gave Kasich an A for his balanced performance, it looks increasingly likely that his strategy could pay off. A consistent debate performance from the start in Cleveland with a laser focused strategy built on the premise that Donald Trump would lose Iowa might hand him New Hampsire. Could the Ohio Governor be the one who will write, in the words of GOP founder Salmon P. Chase, 'Resurgam' on the tombstone of a disintegrating GOP? Several observers in New Hampshire are reporting the first signs that this is indeed the case:
Um, guys, I'm at a Kasich event right now and a lot of people are saying they were leaning toward Rubio before the debate.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 7, 2016
Notice the couple who were leaning Rubio who now say there're concerned are now leaning Kasich. Not Christie. He did Kasich's dirty work.— Milkshakes Anytime (@MomMilkshake) February 7, 2016
Second voter I speak to at Rubio event also mentions debate unprompted. Said she was leaning Rubio, now concerned. Looking at Kasich too now— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 7, 2016
Anecdotal, but my dad, a republican primary voter in NH went into the debate leaning Rubio & came out leaning Kasich. #FITN #NHPrimary— Cody Kondratenko (@codykon) February 7, 2016
At my 4th Kasich event in 3 weeks. Bigger crowds, higher energy.— Scott McConnell (@ScottMcConnell9) February 7, 2016