Marco Rubio has surged in the polls leading up to the third GOP debate. Though top two contenders Donald Trump and Ben Carson will be front and center, Rubio will be right next to them as the third place candidate. For that reason, the Florida senator is expected to be attacked by his fellow presidential hopefuls once they take the stage at the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His rising numbers and impressive debate performances have made him a prime target heading into Wednesday's debate. To prepare their favorite candidate for his next national appearance, Marco Rubio's supporters are giving him debate advice and lots of it.
Advice has come from within the political sphere, specifically within the candidate's own campaign team. Rep. Tom Rooney, who also serves as Rubio's Florida campaign manager, is telling the junior senator to simply stick to what he knows. Rooney tells USA Today that Rubio "needs to stay on message and not get rattled." Campaign manager Danny Diaz further outlined Rubio's plan of attack for Wednesday night, telling Fox News:
We're going to use this opportunity in front of millions of Americans to talk about the candidate who's going to be the next Republican nominee and president of the United States.
Likewise, fellow candidate Lindsey Graham, who will be debating with Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki during the pre-debate forum, offered Rubio a bit of advice about the Senate that could easily translate to his debate performance: "Patience is a virtue. You do have to be patient."
According to data released by CNBC, who will be hosting the debate, Rubio is holding strong in third place polling at nearly 10 percent. Jeb Bush is in fourth place, tied with Carly Fiorina at around 8 percent. Given both Bush and Rubio's strong ties to Florida, as well as their standings in the polls, it's no wonder that the former governor of Florida is already giving Rubio grief. A PowerPoint presentation delivered to Bush donors at a recent Florida event proclaimed Rubio as the "GOP Obama." A rivalry is forming, but voters don't want Rubio to get bogged down.
Predictably, not all debate advice is created equal, and Rubio shouldn't give away his strategies. But whatever happens, the third GOP showdown could mark another step for Rubio to continue his ascent up Republican polls.