Rubio's candidacy is trying to provide GOP voters a best-of-both-worlds scenario, wherein they don't have to choose between ideology and electability. If he keeps performing like he did the other night, that strategy just might work.
I suspect that this sample is actually much more ideologically extreme and less willing to compromise than the elites who matter are. It's likely that, as in many years past, there will be a conflict between the more ideologically pure parts of the party and the more professional compromisers.
Time will tell if Marco Rubio survives the 2016 Republican version of demolition derby. What's clear is that despite his cherubic, youthful demeanor, Rubio is a hard-core conservative, every bit as dangerous as his idol, George W. Bush.