Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks during a town hall meeting with employees of BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., Monday Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ted Cruz Overperforms Marco Rubio Against Trump #NeverTrump

ABC News has more data showing why it is time for Marco Rubio to exit the race. Ted Cruz now does better against Donald Trump than Marco Rubio does.

Trump continues to lead in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, with 34 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents who are registered to vote saying they’d like to see him win the nomination. But he trails both Cruz and Rubio one-on-one. And preferences for Cruz, Rubio and John Kasich have grown as others have left the race, while Trump’s support has essentially remained unchanged for months. . .

In hypothetical two-way matchups, Cruz leads Trump by 54-41 percent and Rubio leads Trump by 51-45 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. While the latter lead isn’t statistically significant, both are further signs of the apparent limits to Trump’s popularity within his party. Indeed, among non-Trump supporters, seven in 10 say they’d prefer Cruz, and as many say they’d pick Rubio, in head-to-head contests.

Now, the Rubio people are certainly going to respond that Rubio also beats Trump. The problem the Rubio people have is that they’ve relied for a long time on polling showing Rubio does better against Clinton than either Trump or Cruz. The Cruz folks can now shift that argument and point out that Cruz does better against against Trump and they must beat Trump to even get to Hillary.

The longer Rubio waits to get out, the less likely it is Trump can be stopped. He needs to get out today.

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Erick Erickson

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