Paul Singer, Influential Billionaire, Throws Support to Marco Rubio for PresidentSinger was a big donor to a Mitt Romney super PAC in 2012, and to the Swiftboat liars in 2004; he also gave a lot of money (and use of a private jet) to Rudy Giuliani in 2008. He's very conservative, but he's pro-gay marriage -- his support was instrumental in getting gay marriage through the New York state legislature, but his promise to provide enough money to shield vulnerable legislators didn't pan out: of four New York Republicans in the state senate who voted for gay marriage, three lost their seats anyway.
One of the wealthiest and most influential Republican donors in the country is throwing his support to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a decision that could swing millions of dollars in contributions behind Mr. Rubio at a critical point in the Republican nominating battle.
The decision by the donor, Paul Singer, a billionaire New York investor, is a signal victory for Mr. Rubio in his battle with his rival Jeb Bush for the affections of major Republican patrons and the party’s business wing.
So Singer's money is meaningful, but it doesn't guarantee Rubio the nomination, although it's one more nail in the coffin of the campaign of Bush, who was hoping for some of Singer's cash.
Obviously, this is a sign that the GOP Establishment is closing ranks around Rubio -- but that doesn't mean the voters are going to follow suit:
After leading the crowded Republican field since July, Donald Trump finds Ben Carson pulling even with him in the latest national NBC News online poll conducted by SurveyMonkey, beginning Tuesday before the debate through Thursday.In fact, it's Carson and Cruz rather than Rubio who got the bumps in this poll, which was conducted before and after the debate.
Among Republican or Republican-leaning registered voters, Carson and Trump each have 26% support - taking up more than half of all the vote preference. Republican leaned voters who watched the debate gave highest marks to Ted Cruz....
While the top two candidates are head and shoulders above the rest of the field, Ted Cruz has climbed into third place with 10% support, the first time he has hit double-digits since after the first Republican debate this summer. His performance in the debate is likely boosting his standing in the poll; among those leaned Republican voters who watched or followed the debate coverage, Cruz gets 17% support, while Trump and Carson get 25% and 24%, respectively.Rubio's at 9%, in a statistical tie with Cruz -- but as you can see, his poll numbers are flat. (Jeb is at 5%.)
My sense of the sentiment among base voters is that they were much more exited by Cruz than by Rubio. Cruz has dominated Free Republic since the debate. And, of course, Cruz raised more than a million bucks in the day after the debate. (And don't forgot, he already had lots of billionaire support.)
And even though they had mediocre debates, Trump and Carson are still dominant -- and Carson seems to be on the ascent.
If you think this is just autumn craziness that will dissipate just the way Cain Mania did after the fall of 2011, let me just say this: Yes, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum captivated a significant percentage of the GOP electorate in the 2012 race before ultimately losing to Romney -- but never all at the same time. In this poll, three of the most extreme candidates are 1-2-3. Combined, they have 62% of the vote. In 2012, there was never a time when fringe candidates combined for 60+% of the vote while the lead mainstream candidate languished in single digits. That's what we have now.
So, yes, I think Rubio will rise -- but I think the voters still want someone more like Trump, Carson, or Cruz. And I'm convinced that that may not change.
(Poll link via Bill Scher.)