How the Puerto Rico primary could influence the entire election

Could it affect the swing state of Florida?


Sunday’s Democratic primary in Puerto Rico was a clear win for Hillary Clinton. As officials counted the ballots by hand, it may come into question what influence Puerto Rico will have in the fall election. While the unincorporated US territory participates in the presidential primary, leaving 60 delegates up for grabs for potential Democratic nominees, Puerto Rico does not vote in the general election. While some may ask why bother campaigning on the island, Puerto Rico may have influence in the United States.

Puerto Rico is currently experiencing a debt crisis, with over $70 billion in total debt according to estimates. Last month, a moratorium was declared on a $422 million debt payment, a substantial default that spells bad fiscal news. Along with the high poverty rate, the looming debt has encouraged many Puerto Ricans to live stateside. Sanders and Clinton are clearly informed of the voter potential as Puerto Ricans make the move, which influences voting patterns in the U.S.

In fact, a study from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College indicated from 2006 to 2011, Florida was the top state for Puerto Ricans to move to the mainland. Knowing already how tight of a race it will be in November for the swing state, an influx of voters could further influence Florida.

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The mobilization of Latino voters may also make Trump reconsider some of his political standings to garner support. In an interesting twist, Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the Republican nominee race in March, won 74 percent of the vote in Puerto Rico’s primary.

This is a clear indication there is much to be changed with Trump’s campaign to appeal to Latino voters.