Marco Rubio won Minnesota decisively on March 1, but the 17 delegates he was awarded are now up for grabs, free to vote for any candidate they like on a first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
In a hotly contested Republican primary that looks increasingly likely to culminate in a contested convention this summer, those delegates will be critical. The battle for them is essentially throwing states such as Minnesota, which have already held their nominating contests, back into play as they elect delegates at state conventions. And Ted Cruz’s campaign, which has run circles around Donald Trump’s in the behind-the-scenes battle to elect friendly delegates from states that aren’t holding primaries or caucuses, is also a step ahead in the fight for the Rubio delegates who will be free to give him an extra boost on a first ballot at the convention.
|Cruz speaks at rally in St. Paul back in Dec 16|
Minnesota hasn’t elected its delegates yet, but the state’s Republican-party chairman, Keith Downey, is already steeling himself for blowback from Trump supporters if and when Cruz emerges from his state with the lion’s share of the delegates.
“If somebody didn’t educate themselves on that process, or they weren’t very good at working through that process, so be it,” he says. “That’s life, and that’s politics.”
Of the 171 delegates Rubio won before dropping out of the race, the 17 he took home in Minnesota, the twelve in Oklahoma, and the two he picked up in New Hampshire are now free agents. In Minnesota and Oklahoma, Rubio’s delegates are obligated only to cast a ballot for him if he is formally nominated, while in New Hampshire they’re entirely unbound.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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