Republican U.S. presidential candidate Florida Senator Marco Rubio shakes hands with supporters while campaigning in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2016. 
Photo by Alvin Baez/Reuters

Rubio wins Puerto Rico Republican primary, NBC News projects


Another day, another primary. This time it was in Puerto Rico, where residents of the tiny island chose Marco Rubio for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Marco Rubio had a commanding lead with about 30 percent of precincts reporting, taking 74 percent of the vote. Donald Trump was in second place in the teens, while Ted Cruz was barely touching double digits.

Residents of Puerto Rico can’t vote in the general election but can vote in the party’s primary to award candidates a total of 23 delegates. Only Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has won only one of 20 contests up until Sunday, spent any time campaigning there. He visited the U.S. territory Saturday for the second time.

The presidential campaign: Marco Rubio
Because of his youth and relatively moderate campaign rhetoric, Rubio is often touted as the Republican Party’s best hope of appealing to younger voters.

Puerto Rico’s primary comes the day after four states held their nominating contests Saturday when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump each won two states, bringing the delegate total to: 392 for Trump, 305 for Cruz;, 130 for Rubio and 35 for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Puerto Rico has been facing economic crisis while the U.S. Congress has been debating what sort of assistance the U.S. government should provide. The country faces an enormous $70 billion dollar debt and 12 percent unemployment.

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