Minnesota's biggest newspaper backs Rubio

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Marco RubioMarco RubioColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Rubio: I hope I can trust whoever wins with the nuclear codes Rubio faces Trump-like challenger in primary MORE has won the endorsement of Minnesota's largest newspaper as he looks to cut into Donald TrumpDonald TrumpClinton in first post-Brexit appearance: 'We are resilient' Trump: Cruz, Kasich shouldn't speak at convention without endorsement Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open MORE's lead on Super Tuessday. 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune backs Rubio in an editorial that lauds him as "energetic, optimistic and electable."

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"We believe Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is best equipped to carry forward the philosophy of free people and free markets — of limited government, free trade and strong national defense — that has long animated the GOP and enriched American political life," the editorial board writes.

"Rubio’s energetic and articulate optimism — his embodiment of a diverse and entrepreneurial youth movement in the GOP — has struck a chord with voters and has convinced a growing roster of respected Republican leaders ... that [he] stands the best chance of securing the nomination for the broad, responsible, practical mainstream of his party."

The state is one of the 11 awarding Republican delegates on Super Tuesday, a crucial day when about one-quarter of the nomination's delegates will be awarded. Rubio and Ted CruzTed CruzTrump: Cruz, Kasich shouldn't speak at convention without endorsement Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' MORE trail in many of those states, so they are looking to wrack up enough delegates to keep Trump within striking distance heading out of the day. 

There's only been one major poll of Minnesota GOP voters since the new year, a Star Tribune poll from before voting began. Rubio led the field with 23 percent of the vote, slightly ahead of Cruz's 21 percent and Trump's 18 percent. 

The paper's endorsement slams Trump as the "TV oracle [who] has demonized whole religions, nations and ethnicities" and says that his antics "betray a puerile temperament unworthy of the high office Trump seeks."

It also reserves criticism for Cruz, whom the paper believes promises "an era of simultaneous disorder and paralysis should he be elected to lead Washington" and questions his campaign's "dirty tricks." 

As far as the other two candidates, Ben Carson and John Kasich, the Star Tribune says Carson simply hasn't made the case he can serve as president. It praises Kasich as "presidential material" but notes that he hasn't "connected" with the electorate and doesn't represent a "fresher voice." 

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