GOP insiders: Second look at Marco Rubio?

Political strategists think Rubio’s chances of winning the GOP nomination in 2016 are looking better because of the bridge scandal embroiling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) decision to forego a White House bid to aim for the gavel of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

“Marco Rubio is very much in the top tier of potential Republican candidates. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t looked at any data and doesn’t understand the dynamics of the Republican primary,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who counts Rubio as one of his clients. “Look at who votes. It’s very difficult to make the case that Chris Christie has a better chance winning the primary than Rubio.”

A WMUR Granite State Poll released Wednesday showed Rubio was tied for third place with Ryan among likely GOP candidates in a hypothetical 2016 New Hampshire primary matchup.