It’s a time-honored tradition. Candidate runs for president. Candidate loses. Candidate’s campaign staff blames everyone and everything in an anonymous tell-all piece to the media. It happens every cycle — should’a, would’a, could’a.
Top officials of the Cruz campaign are convinced there is one specific step that could have stopped Trump — and they blame Sen. Marco Rubio for not taking that step.
In early March, it became clear that Trump was well on his way to the nomination and would even likely defeat Rubio in his home state of Florida’s March 15 primary. 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.
The Cruz campaign polled in three March 15 primary states, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina — though not in Ohio, home to Kasich, or in Florida.
They also tested the matchup in a poll in Arizona, which would hold its contest on March 22, and in Wisconsin, which would hold its primary on April 5.
What did polls suggest a Cruz-Rubio ticket would do in those states?
“Blowout,” said a source close to Cruz.