Republican officials are pressuring Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioBoeing must be stopped from doing business with Iran Top Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms Rubio defends Trump: 'This whole flip-flop thing is a political thing' MORE (Fla.) to play it safe and run for reelection to the Senate instead of making a presidential bid, according to The Associated Press.
The AP calls Rubio’s reelection a “top priority at the National Republican Senatorial Committee,” citing officials familiar with those efforts.
A Rubio presidential bid could throw a wrench into the GOP’s plans for keeping majority control of the Senate in 2016. The party will have its hands full with 24 incumbents up for reelection, so having strong candidates like Rubio will be a priority.
"Sen. Rubio is an impressive senator and of course candidate," Andrea Bozek, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told the AP.
"It would be political malpractice if we didn't want him to run again."
Rubio continues to weigh jumping into what’s expected to be a crowded Republican presidential field. He’s currently averaging eighth place in national polling, according to a Real Clear Politics analysis.
But strategists told The Hill earlier in February that Rubio could unify the conservative base and the centrist establishment and be a strong contender for the nomination.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is weighing a bid, may be his biggest challenge. Bush currently leads in most polling of the field, and his deep ties both to the state and to a national fundraising apparatus make him a formidable opponent for Rubio. And many strategists question whether the two Floridians will cancel out each other's support.
The two will most likely be the only Republican candidates that have backed the immigration reform plan passed by the Senate in 2013, an issue that will divide them from others in the field but also push them closer together.
Florida’s deadline for entering the 2016 Senate race is May 2016, so Rubio has time to change his mind if he initially decides to launch a White House bid.