Is Rubio the Elusive 'Electable Conservative'?

Nate Silver: He'll need great political instincts a la Reagan to win in 2016

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2013 12:15 PM CST

(Newser) Hydration issues notwithstanding, Marco Rubio is in a strong position in terms of the 2016 presidential race, writes Nate Silver in the New York Times. Rubio is "reliably conservative," which would help him in the primaries, and his favorability ratings are solid, which would help him in the general election. (Silver knows it's early to be worried about primary season, but he notes that the "invisible primary," in which candidates woo party insiders, is already under way.)

Rubio's challenge will be to maintain his popularity as voters learn more about him and realize his positions are pretty much the same as those of his Republican rivals. (His support of immigration reform is an exception to the rule.) Great political talents, such as Reagan and Obama, have "the ability to sell ideas to voters across a wide range of the political spectrum," writes Silver. It's too soon to know whether Rubio is in their league, but his White House prospects hinge on the answer. Click for Silver's full column.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks with the Associated Press in his Capitol Hill office in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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