Marco Rubio's low-key campaign: Smart strategy or missed opportunity?

Instead of launching some kind of major strategic blitz to try and gain ground, Rubio is opting to just sit tight. This week, Rubio’s campaign canceled a two-day swing through New Hampshire, citing illness. A week earlier Rubio also conspicuously ducked out of the crosshairs of Capitol Hill reporters seeking a hallway interview, saying “I don’t do them anymore” as an aide pointed to his “busy schedule.”

Rubio’s campaign stressed to POLITICO that Rubio is accessible in the hallway and on the campaign trail, and regularly does interviews with local and national press. His aides say they plan to play the long game, not getting overly excited about polling dips or increases, or the latest shiny bauble in the press. Their focus, they say, is getting Rubio’s message out and staying competitive in the early primary states.

“We believe we could win in each of the first four early states,” Rubio campaign communications director Alex Conant said.

But while those early contests are still months away, for now, Rubio is polling worse in each of those states than he is nationally.