Rubio Wins Puerto Rico

As expected (and hoped for) this morning, Marco Rubio has won the Puerto Rico Primary. He did it with somewhere in the neighborhood of three-quarters of its vote, comfortably clearing the majority needed to sweep all 23 of the territory’s delegates.

His detractors will spin this as a meaningless victory from a non-state, while his supporters will celebrate a second victory and point to this as a jumping off point for winning Florida. The truth lies somewhere in between.

The 23 delegates, it’s worth nothing, all of a sudden make his weekend not a total catastrophe for him. His Saturday struggles saw him finish a distant third. With all Kansas, Kentucky, and Maine delegates allocated, and all but five of Louisiana’s, the day’s standing were as follows:

  1. Cruz 69
  2. Trump 53
  3. Rubio 18
  4. Kasich 10

That’s a huge gap between second and third. But now throw in Puerto Rico to see totals from the entire weekend:

  1. Cruz 69
  2. Trump 53
  3. Rubio 41
  4. Kasich 10

Rubio is now closer to Trump than Trump is to Cruz, and he’s a mile ahead of Kasich. Considering Saturday was an unmitigated disaster, this was a most welcome delegate-sweep. Our chances for a contested convention just climbed another percentage point, not just because of the 23 delegates denied to the two front-runners, but also because it can help Rubio in Florida.

This morning’s post also wondered about Trump’s total, since A) he would need 20 percent of the vote to earn delegates, and B) if he struggled badly, the general election argument about his inability to win Hispanic voters could be used against him. It looks like Trump will finish with under 15 percent of the vote in a territory where Latinos make up 99.5 percent of the population. Not what he was hoping for. Rubio was already able to point to general election polls of him doing far better than Trump against Clinton, and now he has another arrow in his quiver.

See you tomorrow when I revisit my old friend Ted Cruz.

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