Marco RubioMarco RubioLongtime GOP incumbent will not seek reelection Overnight Defense: Commander calls North Korea crisis 'worst' he's seen | Trump signs VA order | Dems push Trump to fill national security posts What’s with Trump’s spelling mistakes? MORE avoided any mention of the day’s four primaries in a Tuesday speech and instead set his focus solely on his home state of Florida, where he trails Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSeven key players for Trump on immigration Spicer: Media coverage of Trump has not been fair Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 MORE by a significant margin.
"I believe with all my heart that the winner of the Florida Republican primary will be the nominee."
The Florida senator has set expectations sky-high with Florida and its 99 delegates as a potential last stand for his campaign. His staff has regularly taken to the television circuit to talk up Rubio's chances in Florida, and he sent out a fundraising pitch to donors promising to divert 100 percent of the proceeds to the Sunshine State.
But Donald Trump stands in his way – the GOP front-runner is averaging 16 points ahead of Rubio in recent polling, according to RealClearPolitics.
His Florida speech came just as the polls began to close in Mississippi, where Trump was quickly projected to win as Rubio trailed in fourth place. If he falls under the 15 percent threshold there or in Michigan, he will not receive any of those states’ delegates.
The speech shied away from the off-color attacks against Donald Trump, but he did make a reference to the man most likely to deal him a deathblow in Florida.
"It’s not enough to stand up here and say we’re going to make America great again, you deserve to know how," he said.
"If you don’t know the how, how do you hold anyone accountable?"