I suppose most left wingers will find this to ring of something like "fact".
Despite being modeled on the positive side of the Reagan legacy, Rubio’s candidacy failed for two crucial reasons. First, he does not have the star power that Reagan had among conservatives. (This year’s celebrity candidate is Trump.) Second, a big share of voters in the 2016 Republican primaries do not want a smiling guy with an uplifting, inclusive message — they want someone as angry as they are; someone who will build walls, ban refugees, deport Mexicans, beat up on the media and take America back to a time when gays and minorities knew their proper place in the social pecking order. And if they feel like punching out a protester, they want a guy who says to go ahead and take a swing.
The BIG reason that Rubio lost was that he was snookered into (or maybe mistakenly volunteered, who knows) the "Gang of Eight" that displayed all the worst of the cynicism and corruption of Washington in an attempt to pick up more hispanic votes. The "gang attack" was thankfully repelled, and Rubio was toast with conservatives. Had Rubio not been part of the "gang activity" on immigration, it is likely that he would at least be in the Cruz position now, and quite possibly the frontrunner.
After the establishment winner candidate, W, followed by two even more "inside the beltway" compromisers who lost, the Republican voters wanted something different -- so the "outsiders", Trump and Cruz are in the lead and the establishment is still using Kasich to threaten civil war.
Reagan was ALSO an outsider. The establishment wanted HW Bush, and Reagan was considered DANGEROUS in 1980 -- he was a Panama Canal crackpot, anti-Soviet out of touch cold warrior likely to get us all killed, and his economics were "voodoo economics" as reviewed by HW Bush himself. How quickly the left wing memory fails them!
Naturally the LA Times wants to helpfully paint Republican voters and candidates in as negative a light as they possibly can, but it would be nice if they found something that had at least the remotest smell of truth to do it with!