Top officials of the Cruz campaign are claiming things could have been different if Senator Marco Rubio would have agreed to a unity ticket.
Prior to the Florida primary, it became obvious that Trump was well on his way to beat Rubio in his home state and break away from the other candidates. CNN is reporting that according to several sources close to Cruz, the Cruz campaign conducted several secret polls to see what the impact would be if Rubio joined Cruz as his running mate, with Cruz at the top of the ticket.
Politico reported in March that Rubio rejected the idea of a “unity ticket.” But the sources close to Cruz and Rubio are now offering a much fuller picture of the extent of Cruz’s polling, the reasons why Rubio said no, and the resentment the Cruz people have about Rubio’s rejection of the idea.
In early March, the Cruz campaign polled in three March 15 primary states, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. They also tested the Cruz / Rubio ticket idea in a poll in Arizona, Wisconsin, which would hold its primary on April 5.
Again, CNN is reporting the results of the polls indicated a total “blowout” (65%-35% with Trump losing).
The Cruz campaign tried to get Rubio on board. But Cruz could not reach him on the phone, and others reported back to the Cruz campaign that Rubio did not seem interested in having a discussion about this at all.
A source familiar with Rubio’s thinking says there never really was a concrete offer from the Cruz campaign to team up — just vague discussions from donors about polls and the potential for such a move — but either way, he was not interested.
Trump won in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Arizona.
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