It's been five weeks since Marco Rubio suffered a humiliated defeat in his own home state, forcing his exit from the Republican president race, and creating the three-candidate contest that we see today. His exit, however, hasn't had quite the impact it was expected to.
The Florida senator easily had the most Republican endorsements of anyone in the party's 2016 field. If "the party decides," the party decided ... on Rubio. His failure, however, meant the GOP establishment's backing could shift to a new favorite. Who would be the beneficiary?
As it turns out, the answer, by and large, is no one. In the five weeks since Rubio quit, Ted Cruz has picked up support from three governors, two senators, and seven U.S. House members, which isn't bad, but which is hardly a tidal wave of new backers (and some of these new "supporters" have grudgingly gone with Cruz via process of elimination). Over the same period, Donald Trump has received endorsements from one governor and three House reps, while John Kasich has added one Senate backer and one House backer.
And that's it. The entire rest of the party's top echelon of elected policymakers has decided -- even now, in mid-April -- to sit this one out. There are 53 Senate Republicans other than the one in the race, and as of this morning, 48 of them haven't announced their support for any of their party's presidential hopefuls. There are 30 Republican governors other than the one in the race, and 20 of them are still on the sidelines.
Even in the far-right U.S. House, where there are a whopping 246 Republicans, only 49 of them -- roughly one in five -- have thrown their support behind one of the GOP candidates. The other 80% of the House Republican conference is sitting on its hands.