Via Politico, no word if the Clinton campaign dictated this story but it is possible:
The POLITICO Caucus – a panel of operatives, strategists and activists in the early-nominating states – overwhelmingly judged Rubio the loser of the final debate before the first-in-the-nation primary.
More than two-thirds of GOP insiders surveyed after the ABC News debate said Rubio lost, and more than 70 percent said the Florida senator’s performance will hurt his chances of toppling front-runner Donald Trump or even outpacing his fellow competitors for second place on Tuesday.
The problems for Rubio began when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie challenged Rubio early on, and Rubio replied repeatedly with a canned response about President Barack Obama’s agenda to change the country.
New Hampshire GOP insiders called Rubio “cringeworthy,” “badly programmed and robotic,” “so rehearsed he comes off as inauthentic,” and “exposed at last for the wind-up doll he is.”
Who do these guys think won?
This story is a microcosm of what is wrong with the GOP establishment. They don’t have the ability to comprehend “principles.” They are totally interested in appearances. This is why these assclowns think Mitch McConnell and John Boehner were great leaders. Tuesday will show a couple of things. The first thing will be that Chris Christie is going to be beaten like a rented mule in New Hampshire. He will be out of the race by the end of the month. The second thing it will show is Marco Rubio exceeding expectations and finishing a strong second, and I think there is a better then even chance that he finishes in first place.
The average voter in not going to choose to vote against Rubio because he has internalized a series of pat answers. It isn’t going to happen. Because most of the GOP establishment focuses on superficialities, they think the GOP electorate… or America… is going to tire of hearing Obama blamed for his maladministration. They are wrong. It won’t matter. The very best Christie can hope for is to pull some votes from Bush or Kasich.
Are any of Rubio’s donors going to totally discount his performance to date and jump ship over a single debate performance? Of course not. What this represents is the GOP establishment’s Hail Mary to stop Marco Rubio. As a Cruz supporter, I don’t really care if they succeed because Ted Cruz is would be the overwhelming beneficiary of a concerted establishment attack on Rubio. But it is not going to work because the three candidates the establishment is trying to foist off on us — Christie, Bush, and Kasich — are manifestly out of step not only with the GOP primary electorate but with the mood of the country.