The cash race isn’t the only one that Rubio is underperforming in relative to his current buzz. For a man who is “surging” in the polls, his survey numbers tell a much less exciting story. Yes, he’s inched up a few points here and there following his strong performance on the CNN stage—a bump that can be explained, at least in part, by the glowing reviews he received in the press—but, at best, Rubio’s simply keeping his head above water at the moment.
According to Huffington Post’s polling tracker, for example, Rubio entered July in fourth place with about 9 percent in national polls, within 5 points of then-leader Jeb Bush. Today, he’s in third-place at 10.5 percent, but more than 17 points behind front-runner Donald Trump. RealClearPolitics’ rolling average tells a similar story: Rubio entered July tied for third at 9.4 percent; today he’s in fourth with 9.9 percent.
The picture’s not any prettier in the states that open the GOP nominating contest early next year. By RCP’s count, Rubio is currently at 7.7 percent in Iowa, down a fraction of a point from where he was in early July, and down more than 4 points from his high-water mark in May. In New Hampshire, he’s at 7 percent, down more than a point from the beginning of July and down more than 4 from his best showing the month before. And in South Carolina, Rubio’s at 5 percent, down more than a point from where he began the summer.
For an establishment favorite, meanwhile, Rubio doesn’t yet appear to be the favorite of much of the establishment. He picked up the backing of two congressmen in the past two weeks, but those endorsements bring his total to only five.