Sen. Marco Rubio’s Presidential Aspirations Mimic Odds of RAWA Passage

Posted on March 9th, 2016 by Jon Pineda


Marco Rubio odds RAWA

Once considered the favorite among the conservative establishment, Florida Senator Marco Rubio now seems about as likely to become the next US president as the anti-iGambling legislation RAWA has of passing Congress. (Image: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio can claim just one of the 15 states that have made their voices heard in deciding who will represent the GOP in the 2016 presidential general election.

Along with Minnesota, Rubio’s only other victory came in Puerto Rico, a US territory that holds a primary but whose residents cannot vote come November.

Once considered the Republican establishment’s preferred candidate, Rubio’s all-out verbal assault on frontrunner Donald Trump over the last two weeks surprised many political commentators who have known the Floridian to be more reserve when it comes to back-and-forth bickering. His change in temperament was seen as calculated, and perhaps directly influenced by GOP leaders.

The move didn’t pay off.

Last night, Rubio failed to obtain a single delegate in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan or Mississippi, while Trump won 71, Texas Senator Ted Cruz picked up 56, and Ohio Governor John Kasich was awarded 17. Calls are now being made for Rubio to exit the race in order to give Cruz and Kasich a more realistic chance of dethroning Trump.

Rubio’s Got a Friend in RAWA

With just four candidates remaining, the junior senator from Florida is now polling in the GOP cellar, a place occupied by many a Republican this campaign season.

Though he’s hoping a win in Florida on March 15 will refuel his campaign, Rubio no longer has a realistic path to accumulating 1,237 delegates required for the nomination.

It’s not the only Rubio endeavor facing what seems like insurmountable odds.

The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), a piece of legislation that has been loitering in Congress since 2014, gained Rubio’s endorsement when it was reintroduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) last June.

RAWA would restore the Wire Act to its 2011 understanding when it outlawed all forms of gambling on the Internet, and not just sports betting. The Department of Justice opined the Wire Act only applied to sports contests, a decision that led to states like Nevada and New Jersey to legalizing online casinos.

Since its introduction two years ago, RAWA has struggled to gain support in either the House of Representatives or Senate. A hearing by the House Oversight Committee in December showed little to any momentum, and RAWA has since been shelved.

Odds Minimal for Rubio, RAWA

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sent shockwaves through the United States, and one unintended consequence few are talking about is the fact the Court’s vacancy will diminish what little chances RAWA retained.

Republicans hold the majority in Congress, and they’ve made no secret that they intend to block any Supreme Court nominee President Obama recommends.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is first tasked with approving a Supreme Court candidate, and with Republicans holding an 11-9 majority featuring Graham on the committee, Obama will have a difficult time appointing anyone even remotely liberal to the country’s highest bench.

Congress hasn’t accomplished much since the GOP took control of the Senate in 2015, and Obama’s final year in office is expected to see little compromise from conservatives.

While political gridlock isn’t beneficial to anyone, when it comes to the championing of online poker, no action is good action.


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