Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is garnering support from mainstream Republican fundraisers and contributors for a 2016 presidential run, according to The Hill.
Those backing Rubio are antagonistic toward the tea party and see him as an alternative to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who faced new allegations
over the weekend that allegedly implicate him in the "Bridge-gate" lane-closing scandal.
Rubio backers include Bill Paxon, a former New York lawmaker now with Akin Gump, an international law firm; Dirk Van Dongen, of the National Wholesalers Association, and Blackstone's Wayne Berman, a political and legislative risk specialist.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported
that party divisions have set the stage for a wide open battle for the Republican presidential nomination.
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The senator's presidential stock has fluctuated. A year ago Time magazine hailed Rubio as "The Republican Savior" only to see him displaced by Christie after Rubio fumbled delivering the GOP response to the 2013 State of the Union Address. Rubio also antagonized conservatives by supporting Senate immigration reform legislation, according to the Post.
Rubio is undecided about making a run for the White House because of the personal impact it would have on his young family and, politically, because he would have to give up his Senate seat to pursue a presidential bid, according to The Hill.
A preference poll of likely NH GOP primary voters conducted by WMUR
, showed Rubio— with 6 percent— tied for third place with Paul Ryan, among a score of possible 2016 candidates. Rand Paul came in on top with 16 percent. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte came in second with 13 percent, and Scott Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, came in third. Christie took fourth place.
The telephone survey polled 246 likely 2016 Republican Primary voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.2 percent.
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