Visits to campaign rallies in Florida this week confirmed what polls have been suggesting for months: Donald Trump is leading the race for the Republican nomination in large part because he’s winning over throngs of nonhabitual voters.
The latest challenger to fall: Sen. Marco Rubio, who lost his home state in a landslide Tuesday and dropped out of the race.
Rubio drew healthy crowds in Florida — a thousand or more in West Palm Beach, 500 or so at a retirement community near Orlando — and his supporters were fervent. But they looked and talked like traditional Republicans: polite, well-dressed, and serious about their conservatism.
“Politics is not the same as it used to be,” Nancy Dudley, 73, of St. Augustine, told me with a sigh as she waited for Rubio to speak on Sunday. “The things they’re saying these days! It’s been just terrible.” She sounded more resigned than defiant.