Supporters at a Bernie Sanders rally
Supporters at a Bernie Sanders rally (Photo: Benjamin Kerensa)

Anoth­er day, anoth­er set of pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing caucuses.

Today, Maine Democ­rats held their 2016 cau­cus­es, while Puer­to Rico Repub­li­cans went to the polls to cast bal­lots in that ter­ri­to­ry’s pri­ma­ry. (Res­i­dents of ter­ri­to­ries don’t get a say in which per­son gets elect­ed as Pres­i­dent, but they do get to par­tic­i­pate in the selec­tion of the nom­i­nees, thanks to par­ty rules.)

In Maine, Bernie Sanders cleaned up, pre­vail­ing eas­i­ly over Hillary Clin­ton. Mar­co Rubio, mean­while, got his first real win of the nom­i­nat­ing sea­son, tak­ing about three quar­ters of the vote in Puer­to Rico’s pri­ma­ry. Thir­ty del­e­gates are at stake in Maine and twen­ty-three are up for grabs in Puer­to Rico.

Here are the cur­rent results in Maine:

Can­di­dateState Con­ven­tion Delegates % Nation­al Delegates
Bernie Sanders2,231 del­e­gates won 64.3% 15 (esti­mat­ed)
Hillary Clin­ton1,232 del­e­gates won 35.5% 7 (esti­mat­ed)

Bernie’s vic­to­ry in Maine means he can now add anoth­er state to his vic­to­ry col­umn, for a total of eight. He won three states this week­end (all were cau­cus states), while Hillary Clin­ton sailed to vic­to­ry in the Louisiana Demo­c­ra­t­ic primary.

Sanders had a good week­end, but Clin­ton may well return to her win­ning ways on Tues­day in the Michi­gan and Mis­sis­sip­pi pri­maries. The Sanders camp is hop­ing to be com­pet­i­tive in Michi­gan. It’s like­ly that Clin­ton will do very well in Mis­sis­sip­pi, which bor­ders Louisiana and Alaba­ma, where she has already trounced Sanders.

Sanders’ vic­to­ries this week­end give him a nice boost ahead of poten­tial loss­es on Tues­day. Should Clin­ton beat him, he will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to bounce back in the North­ern Mar­i­anas Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus­es next week­end, where eleven del­e­gates will be at stake. After that, it’s on to “Mini Tuesday”.

Sanders will def­i­nite­ly still be a can­di­date at the end of March, when Democ­rats in Wash­ing­ton State hold their cau­cus­es. Alas­ka and Hawaii Democ­rats will (not coin­ci­den­tal­ly) be cau­cus­ing on the same day — Sat­ur­day, March 26th.

Now, here are the results in Puer­to Rico, with 25% reporting:

Can­di­date % Votes
Mar­co Rubio73.6%6,159 votes
Don­ald Trump13%1,092 votes
Ted Cruz9%757 votes
John Kasich1.2%98 votes

It cer­tain­ly looks like Mar­co Rubio is going to end the week­end with a much-need­ed win. Puer­to Rico may be a ter­ri­to­ry, but that hard­ly means it’s not impor­tant. In fact, Puer­to Rico has more del­e­gates than the state of Hawaii, which will hold its Repub­li­can cau­cus­es this com­ing Tues­day. (19 del­e­gates are at stake.)

Still, Rubio’s path is a steep one. Ted Cruz was the top choice of Repub­li­cans in Kansas and Maine in yes­ter­day’s Repub­li­can cau­cus­es… not him. Cruz has won more states than either of Don­ald Trump’s two oth­er rivals.

But unfor­tu­nate­ly for Cruz, nei­ther Rubio nor John Kasich are heed­ing his calls to drop out and sup­port him… which just goes to show that his influ­ence in key cir­cles in the par­ty pales in com­par­i­son to his pop­u­lar­i­ty with the base.

Cruz can argue that it’s a two-man race between him­self and Don­ald Trump. But Rubio and Kaisch’s home states will be vot­ing a week from this Tues­day. Nei­ther man is going to leave the race pri­or to com­pet­ing there. If Rubio los­es Flori­da to Trump, it’s hard to see how he con­tin­ues on.

Kasich, mean­while, can’t afford to lose Ohio, as he has yet to win a sin­gle state. Even Rubio has got­ten over that sym­bol­ic hur­dle. Kasich is only still in the race because he came in sec­ond in New Hamp­shire. But he still lost that state to Trump.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

Adjacent posts

2 replies on “Bernie Sanders wins Maine caucuses; Marco Rubio wins Puerto Rico primary”

Comments are closed.