Donald Trump Calls For Marco Rubio to Drop Out of the Race

Trump seems to have forgotten about John Kasich.


Foter / Gage Skidmore

In a rambling, self-congratulatory speech following the day's GOP primary elections, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump called for one of his competitors, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, to drop out of the presidential race.

Trump said he wanted to face off against Texas Senator Ted Cruz "one on one." 

Trump is right that Rubio didn't have a great night. He failed to win any state, and didn't pick up many delegates. Rubio's position is that it doesn't matter, because he was never going to do well in these states, and is banking mostly on winning Florida at this point. 

Here's the wrinkle, though, with Trump's call for Rubio to get out of the race: Even if Rubio dropped out, Trump wouldn't be facing Cruz one on one, because Ohio Governor John Kasich would still be in the race. And Kasich, as the sole remaining candidate who could plausibly represent the Republican establishment, would likely pick up a lot of Rubio's support. So Trump wouldn't be facing Cruz one on one, and the fourth-place candidate would likely be emboldened (even though he would still have virtually no chance of winning a majority of delegates). 

The dynamics of the race are extremely complex right now, but in many ways, Cruz had the best night: He won the most delegates of evening, picked up a couple of outright wins, and seems to have benefited from a late-breaking surge in Louisiana, suggesting that support may be swinging his way. 

But Trump came away acting like a winner, noting that he won the biggest prizes of the night, Louisiana and Kentucky, and holding on to his overall delegate lead. He is still the most likely candidate to win the nomination.

Where this all goes is frankly difficult to say at this point. Rubio seems weaker, Cruz seems stronger, but the map looks increasingly tough for him from here on out. Meanwhile, Trump has enough wins and overall strength that he still looks tough to beat. The biggest takeaway from tonight is that the GOP race is far from finished.