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.
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.
If Trump can’t outmaneuver Ted Cruz, how can he outmaneuver Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad?