Sen. Marco Rubio may have suspended his campaign over three weeks ago, but he has not given up the fight to defeat Donald Trump just yet.
In addition to calling Ted Cruz “the only conservative left in the race” in a thank you call to supporters, offering Cruz implicit support if not an explicit endorsement, Rubio has also been taking other quiet steps to halt Trump’s march to the nomination.
Last week, RedState reported that Rubio filed paperwork to have his name removed from the California primary ballot — a move which could improve Cruz’s chances of defeating Trump in the state by ensuring Rubio does not steal any votes from the leading non-Trump candidate.
Rubio has also taken the unprecedented step of requesting that party leaders not release the 172 delegates he won during the early stages of the race, even though he is no longer campaigning:
If state parties agree to let Rubio keep the delegates he won, that effectively blocks Trump from gaining their support between now and the Republican convention in July.
Rubio’s 172 delegates represent more than half of 323 unbound delegates that could essentially be up for grabs between now and July, NBC News explains.
And if not getting those 172 delegates keeps Trump from reaching a majority of 1,237 by the convention, then a second vote for the nomination could take place in which essentially anyone — i.e. not Trump — may win.
Trump, of course, may still end up clinching the nomination anyway. However, if he fails to do so, the eventual nominee will likely owe Marco Rubio a big ‘thank you’.
Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com.