A couple of months ago, Rubio’s general election strength was conventional wisdom. “I sometimes want to run around the country grabbing Republican voters by the lapels and screaming, ‘You idiots! Don’t you realize Democrats are a hundred times more scared of Rubio than any of these other guys?'” wrote Matt Yglesias back in January. Rubio was seen as a smart, nimble politician who could reassure moderates, appeal to Latinos (or at least blunt their turnout), and unify the fractious Republican Party.
But his poor performance in the primaries has led to a split in opinions on Rubio. One view is that he was always a weak candidate — it was a mass delusion on behalf of the political establishment to ever pretend otherwise.