It's tough being part of "the establishment." But Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush hope to change that Wednesday night.
In a Republican nominating process that has been handily dominated by "outsiders" Donald Trump and, more recently, Ben Carson, the mainline candidates are under pressure to deliver in the Republican presidential debate, taking place at the University of Colorado in Boulder and hosted by CNBC.
Rubio performed well in the first two debates and showed an ability to lay out detailed policy answers on economic issues. But it hasn't been enough to vault the senator from Florida into the double-digit terrain held by rivals Trump and Carson.
"Rubio might have the toughest job tonight. This isn't time to show you have policy chops. It's time to show you can trade punches, and insofar as policy delivers a counterpunch, great," said Jason Stanford, a Democratic political consultant who has worked on more than 200 campaigns. "But the people who matter to him believe he's smart enough. They just don't see him as strong enough."