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Marco Rubio donor meeting raises possibility of brokered convention

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Facing unsteady ground as Super Tuesday approaches, Marco Rubio is bracing for the prospect of a brokered Republican Convention in Cleveland this July.

CNN reports on a closed-door meeting with about 200 Rubio supporters and donors Wednesday evening, where the campaign considered options as a stopgap measure against the nominations of either GOP front-runner Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

According to two people at the private event, Terry Sullivan, Rubio’s top adviser, used a PowerPoint presentation and question-and-answer session to outline two possibilities for the Florida senator to secure the Republican nomination.

“One is somebody — Trump or Rubio — wins enough primaries to sew up the nomination in advance of the convention,” one attendee told CNN. “The other is that nobody does, and the two candidates go to the convention.”

The campaign is working overtime to convince potential donors that Rubio is the viable establishment alternative to either Trump or Cruz, and that he has a legitimate path to victory. Yet Trump is the one approaching the Super Tuesday primaries March 1 as the undisputed Republican front-runner, with decisive wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Rubio, in comparison, has yet to win a single state.

Although only hypothetical at this point, a brokered convention seems increasingly conceivable, particularly in light of Rubio’s Wednesday meeting.

Nevertheless, the participants said Sullivan remains confident that Rubio would win in Florida, despite recent polling showing him lagging behind Trump. One major question shadowing the entire event was whether giving to the Rubio campaign would not be a waste of money, as it was with for Jeb Bush, who exited the race last week after a poor showing in South Carolina.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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