Senator Marco Rubio won all 23 of Puerto Rico’s delegates, taking 70% of the vote in Puerto Rico’s Republican primary. Then Rubio lost the Florida primary, and suspended his campaign.
What happens to the delegates?
Those delegates are now free to vote as they please. Delegates at the Republican National Convention are generally expected to vote for the candidate chosen by the voters they represent (“super delegates” are the exceptions). If that vote takes place and no candidate has the majority, however, or in cases in which the candidate has already left the field, the delegates are then allowed to change their minds.
It is generally difficult to predict what would happen next. A delegate who favors one candidate but is bound to vote for another because the other candidate was the choice made by the majority in his or her state could see this as an opportunity to vote for his or her personal favorite.
Kevin Romero-Díaz, a spokesperson for the Republican Party of Puerto Rico, said that all of the other candidates began wooing Puerto Rico’s delegates as soon as Rubio bowed out. The Boston Globe reported that Romero-Diaz announced that “all 23 delegates intend to vote as a bloc… for a candidate who promises to support Puerto Rican statehood.”
Trump, the Globe reports, continues to work toward getting the 1,237 delegates he must have to win the nomination before the convention.