Rubio aide urges Republican primary voters to vote for Kasich in Ohio

By Dave Andrusko

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio

Hours after the Thursday night Republican presidential debate , Alex Conant, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s communications director, told CNN’s “At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan” that Rubio supporters should vote in the Ohio Republican primary for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

“I’m just stating the obvious,” Conant said. Depending on the poll, Gov. Kasich is either slightly ahead or slightly behind Mr. Trump in Ohio.

The New York Times added that Conant “said that he hoped supporters of Mr. Kasich and of Senator Ted Cruz would support Mr. Rubio in his home state primary in Florida, and that he would suggest Mr. Rubio’s backers in Ohio do the same by supporting Mr. Kasich.”

Mr. Trump’s advantage over Sen. Rubio among likely voters in Florida is down to 7 points, according to a Washington Post-Univision News poll: 38%-31%

“As far as Florida’s concerned, we feel good, we’re making progress, we have real momentum here now,” Rubio said Friday.

Next Tuesday, there will be pivotal primaries in states including Florida, Rubio’s home state, and Ohio, Kasich’s home state.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich

In all, 367 Republican delegates are at stake March 15 in Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.

ABC News’s current tally has Mr. Trump ahead with 457 delegates. Sen. Cruz has 359. Sen. Rubio is third with 151. Gov. Kasich has won 54 delegates.

According to an Associated Press story that ran later today, some Rubio supporters in Ohio are warming to the idea.

The AP reported

Tom Grossmann, a county commissioner and former GOP chairman in Warren County north of Cincinnati, is one Rubio supporter thinking about going for Kasich.

“I believe Marco Rubio has the best chance of unifying the party and winning in November,” he said Friday. “I don’t think he has any chance of winning in Ohio.”