Today is a day the GOP establishment never could have imagined. If neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz surges in the dozen states casting primary ballots this Super Tuesday, Donald Trump could all but wrap up a Republican presidential nomination tonight.
And there are hints that Florida's Trump-lite governor, Rick Scott, might just jump on the bandwagon this afternoon. Trump has scheduled a last-minute news conference at his West Palm Beach mansion at 6 p.m., fueling speculation he's adding the Sunshine State's governor to his list of supporters.
Scott's camp hasn't commented on those rumors, and his official schedule for the day lists only an event in Pinellas County. "We're currently in Tampa at a veterans event and then we're headed back to Tallahassee," a Scott spokesperson tells New Times. "If there are any changes to that schedule, we'll let you know."
But as Politico points out, it would be easy to make a change. Scott flies on a private charter and could easily make a detour to Palm Beach to back the Donald.
Scott's endorsement would hardly be a shocker on the level of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's surprise support last month. Scott in January penned a glowing letter in USA Today praising Trump and comparing the Donald's campaign to his own insurgent bid to become Florida's governor.
"There is no doubt that Donald is a man who speaks and tweets his mind freely," Scott writes in that piece. "But I don’t think his ability to give the most interesting interviews or speeches is the only thing that has him leading in the polls. I think he is capturing the frustration of many Americans."
Indeed, there are so many parallels between Trump and Scott that many observers have floated the Florida governor as a possible VP choice. Like Trump, Scott is an über-wealthy outsider who self-funded his way to higher office against the will of his party's establishment.
But there are still reasons Scott might hold back today. Many of his top advisers and leading legislators in Tallahassee back Marco Rubio, and Scott is entrenched in a fight with the Florida Legislature on many of his plans. Also, it's not clear how much Scott would really help Trump. He remains a deeply unpopular governor in his home state and, unlike Christie, has little national appeal.
Endorsement or not, national eyes will be on South Florida tonight as Super Tuesday results roll in. Three of the top contenders will all be watching the returns in our neck of the woods.
After his 6 p.m. presser, Trump will stay at his Mar-a-Lago Club as the votes are tallied. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has booked the Ice Palace Studios on NW 14th Street and North Miami Avenue to gather with supporters for what polls predict will be a resounding batch of wins.
Marco Rubio, meanwhile, will watch what could be his final stand against Trump at a party in Tropical Park at the appropriately named Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center.
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