A couple months ago, we declared Marco Rubio to be the "upside candidate" in the 2016 presidential race. He's proving us right.
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday shows Rubio has the best split between his favorable rating and his unfavorable rating in the ever-expanding 2016 Republican field. Among Republicans, 37 percent more said they like him than don't. Among independent voters, Rubio’s favorable rating outpaces his negatives by seven percentage points.
Perhaps more important, during this, the pre-pre-primary season, is Rubio’s standing with multiple Republican factions. Put plainly: Rubio is broadly liked by almost all of them. His favorable rating among "very conservative" Republicans outpaces his negative ratings by 49 percent, by 26 percent among moderate and liberal Republicans and by 39 percent with "somewhat conservative" Republicans. In addition, Rubio's favorable rating among evangelical Republicans sits 44 points above his negatives. The same holds true if you keep digging into the Washington Post/ABC News poll results.
No other candidate can claim such broad acceptance at this point. And while Rubio is jumbled in with the rest of the field (a seven-way virtual tie at this point), he's far less reliant on one particular (and limited) group of GOP supporters. Hence, the "upside" designation.