Call it a night for the Republican “establishment,” as insurgent candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz failed to gain a single delegate in the Washington D.C. Republican caucuses. According to NBC News, Florida Senator Marco Rubio earned 37 per cent of support in the contest, landing ten delegates. Ohio Governor John Kasich came in second with 36 per cent and walked away with nine delegates.
CNN noted that today’s voter turnout in the nation’s capitol was exceptional, creating long lines, including a queue at one polling station that reportedly ran the length of three city blocks. Some voters stood outside in the rain for hours waiting to cast their votes.
“It’s a pretty exciting thing, here in Washington, D.C.,” said Patrick Mara, executive director of the Washington D.C.’s Republican Party. “These are very dedicated, devoted Republicans.”
Despite the somewhat noteworthy victory for Marco Rubio, he remains a distant third place contender for the GOP nomination. Although widely regarded as the preferred candidate for establishment Republicans, Rubio has struggled to gain traction in the race, due in large part to a steady string of attacks by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. Indeed, Trump has taken to referring to the Floridian as “Little Marco” during televised debates and campaign stops, belittling his rival with personal insults and critiques of Rubio’s voting record in the United States Senate.
For his part, Marco Rubio has pledged to forge ahead to the Florida primary on March 15, where he hopes to score an upset against Donald Trump. Rubio has served as a senator for the Sunshine State since 2011, although he has come under scrutiny in Washington and at home for his history of absenteeism while in office. While the state’s 99 delegates would be a huge boost to Rubio’s momentum and morale, an aggregate of polling data from Real Clear Politics shows the senator trailing Trump by almost 17 points.
While Rubio has previously pledged to support Donald Trump in the event that the real estate mogul should ultimately bag the Republican nomination, he has given some indication that he might reconsider given the vitriolic tone of his rival’s campaign rhetoric.
“I will support the nominee,” Rubio said in a recent interview posted by CNN. “But it’s getting tougher by the day.”
In an apparent acknowledgement of the uphill battle that remains ahead, Marco Rubio has asked his supporters in Ohio to cast votes for John Kasich in the Buckeye State’s March 15 primary. Rubio explained that the move is aimed at denying Donald Trump any of Ohio’s delegates by facilitating an upset for Kasich.
“John Kasich is the only one who can beat Donald Trump in Ohio,” Rubio said in comments transcribed by Politico. “If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump, I suspect that’s the only choice they can make.”
In addition to his poor showing in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump also experienced a less than favorable outcome in the Wyoming conventions, as reported by Red State. His closest rival, Ted Cruz, gained nine delegates on Saturday. The state’s remaining delegates will be pledged during the state convention. Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each won a delegate each in Wyoming, although Rubio received more than twice as many votes as Trump in the contest.
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