RealClearPolitics dives into Marco Rubio’s victory in Puerto Rico, and how it can help him in the pivotal state of Florida, where nearly 1 million Puerto Ricans live. The Sunshine State will hold its Republican primary on March 15, and if Rubio manages to get a win, Donald Trump could be at risk of not getting enough delegates to claim the nomination.
First, it’s Rubio’s first primary win, and provided the first tangible evidence that the stop-Trump candidate who is the choice of many GOP activists and Republican elected officials can translate that preference to a broader electorate. Previously, his only win had been in the Minnesota caucuses.
Second, it came at a time when Trump and Cruz had been openly calling for Rubio to get out of the race. Here, however, the lack of interest in Trump and Cruz was deep and widespread. The New York tycoon was a distant second with 13.6 percent of the vote, with Cruz receiving only 9 percent. Kasich, who had no real organization in Puerto Rico, finished fourth with 1.4 percent.
Third, Rubio’s commanding position here in the days leading up to Sunday’s vote afforded him the opportunity to focus on the one person he really wants to be running against: Hillary Clinton. Their sparring began here last September when Rubio and Clinton happened to be campaigning in Puerto Rico on the same day.
Whether the result in Puerto Rico actually influences voters in Florida is yet to be seen. That said, with Florida’s population of Puerto Ricans increasing steadily, because of the crisis in the territory, you can be sure that many of the new residents are watching closely what candidates say or do regarding Puerto Rico. Come November, this could be a deciding factor in the general election.