For Republican activists and party faithful used to fawning attention, it’s about time.
Rubio has visited New Hampshire just seven times this year, and five times since he announced his candidacy. By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will make his 14th visit to the state next week, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been there close to two dozen times.
Rubio’s trip this week to Iowa was only his eighth this year, far fewer that many of his competitors — some of whom are staking their bids to win the lead-off caucus state by visiting all of its 99 counties. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum already has.
The joke about Rubio is that he is only competing in Ankeny, the Des Moines suburb where his state chairman resides. Iowa Republican strategist Doug Gross, who has not endorsed a candidate, says voters like Rubio but “they haven’t taken him for a test drive.”