We could take shots at the “small” Puerto Rico primary victory that “little Marco” won on Sunday, but that would be kicking a man when he’s down and I absolutely refuse to do that.
Instead, let’s offer congratulations to the Florida senator for winning a primary — his second victory in 21 contests.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will win the Republican primary in Puerto Rico, CNN projects, picking up his second contest in a campaign that has been dominated by Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
With nearly three-fourths of all votes on the island, according to early results, Rubio could top the 50% threshold required to win all 23 of Puerto Rico’s delegates.
The dominant issue facing the island commonwealth — which has no electoral votes in the U.S. general election — is a public debt crisis, with the government owing $73 billion.
Puerto Rico’s results are particularly key for Rubio, who campaigned there Saturday.
But that stop wasn’t just about Puerto Rico: Rubio’s campaign now largely hinges on taking first place in Florida’s March 15 99-delegate, winner-take-all primary — and the state’s Puerto Rican population could help there.
Rubio is trying to prevent Trump and Cruz from running away with the race. Through the first 19 contests, Trump has won 12 states and Cruz six — including two each on Saturday. Rubio, meanwhile, has only won Minnesota. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose state also holds a winner-take-all primary on March 15, is still seeking his first win.
Both Trump and Cruz have been calling on Rubio to get out of the race, but that’s not going to happen. Rubio is going to keep faith with the men and women who have given him tens of millions of dollars to pursue his dream of being president. He begged them after Super Tuesday for the cash to remain competitive in his home state and they delivered. So he will soldier on despite not having much chance of overtaking Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
Trump may be calling for a one-on-one race with Ted Cruz but I imagine he would like to wait a while so he can pile up some of these winner-take-all delegates in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, and Missouri on March 15. With Rubio and Kasich in the race, the anti-Trump vote remains split, giving Trump a great shot at running the table.