Marco Rubio's difficult path to the nomination

Donald Trump failed to win Iowa. Marco Rubio exceeded expectations. If you’re a member of the Republican inner party—a donor, a congressional leader, a leading lobbyist—you woke up Tuesday to the best morning in at least six months. Now here’s all that needs to go right for you to continue to enjoy your mornings.

First, Rubio must perform strongly in New Hampshire next week. Even more importantly, all the other candidates you used to like must perform poorly. If, hypothetically, John Kasich or Chris Christie rather than Marco Rubio finishes a strong second to Donald Trump, Rubio’s future as the Great Establishment Hope would suddenly look a lot less hopeful.

Then, in the days after New Hampshire votes, all the other candidates you used to like must rapidly withdraw gracefully from the field. No more calling Rubio “the boy in the bubble!” Jeb Bush’s people, in particular must somehow stifle their resentment and rage, and refrain from spending their remaining $50 million of super-PAC funds to remind South Carolina voters of Rubio’s past (and likely future) support for higher levels of immigration.