Romney Handily Wins Puerto Rico’s GOP Primary

CNN, March 19, 2012

Mitt Romney heads in to Illinois’s presidential primary this week with a handy win in Puerto Rico, pocketing the territory’s 20 GOP delegates in a bruising race that has become a numbers game for the Republican nomination.

With about 83% of total ballots accounted for early Monday in Puerto Rico, Romney had garnered more than 98,000 votes—or 83% of the total—based on unofficial results obtained from local party and election officials.

Rick Santorum was a distant second, at 8% with slightly more than 9,500 votes.

The other two candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, were barely registered in the race with 2,431 votes, or 2% of the vote, and 1,452 votes, or 1%, respectively.


Romney framed his win in Puerto Rico as the territory’s desire for a candidate that “most represents their feelings”—and especially their desire to nominate some who can bring about a stronger economy and a smaller government.

He also said his party can appeal to Latinos, and win the presidency, with a low-tax, pro-business message.

“Those people who don’t think that Latinos will vote for a Republican need to take a look in Puerto Rico,” said the former Massachusetts governor, noting that the territory’s governor and its legislative leaders are conservative.

“Hispanic voters are going to vote for Republicans if we stand for something—conservative principles that bring growth and good jobs and rising home values. That’s how we’re going to win, and we’re going to get Latino voters to help us out.”


Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, created a small political firestorm on the island in the days leading up to the primary when he said English should be the principal language in Puerto Rico before it could gain statehood. Puerto Rico will vote on a statehood referendum in November.

After arriving in Puerto Rico on Friday, Romney said he would have “no preconditions” on language for Puerto Rico to gain statehood, though during a CNN debate in January he said English should be the nation’s official language.


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  • Hirschibold

    Well the GOP candidate who was assembled in the same factory where they built Al Gore has just won a mandate from a US territory which considers itself a sovereign nation, and would become the poorest, most welfare-dependent state in the nation, were they to join the union. Excuse me for not celebrating.

    • Oil Can Harry

      The place has long been known as Welfare Island and yet Romney claims the locals want “smaller government”?

      • JackKrak

        Yup. In the 70’s, about 50% of the people there received food stamps.

  • That there were only some 1400 people on a Afro-Chicano island in the Caribbean who agree with libertarian small government principles to vote Ron Paul shouldn’t shock you.  I think food stamps constitute a majority of Puerto Rico’s GDP.

    CNN’s results page for Puerto Rico said that:  In order to vote in the GOP presidential primary in Puerto Rico, voters must sign a “Republican Party of Puerto Rico Affiliation Form” pledging commitment to the ideological principles of the Party.

    That’s the good thing about signing a piece of paper:  You can do that with your writing hand, then use your other hand to cross your fingers behind your back.  When they don’t wind up agreeing with the “ideological principles” of the Republican Party (whatever those are anymore), can the RNC sue them for contract violation?  If Democrats try to woo these people who signed this “affiliation form,” can the RNC sue them for tortious interference?

    This whole exercise with this “affiliation form” is stupid to the power of stupid, then again, as Sam Francis would say, it’s the Stupid Party doing it.

    • The_Bobster

      Food stamps have been issued in the United States since World War II, but the program did not include Puerto Rico until the early 1970s, when U.S. Public Laws 91-671 of January 11, 1971 and 93-86 of November 1, 1974 partially extended the Food Stamp Program to U.S. territories. The Food Stamp program was later expanded to provide full coverage and benefits to Puerto Rico and other territories under Section 19 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.[8]

      By 1977, the Food Stamp Program in Puerto Rico was larger, in terms of both the percentage of the population participating and expenditures, than any of the programs operating in the 50 U.S. States, with 56% of the Puerto Rican population participating in the program.[9][10] In total, it accounted for approximately 8 percent of the national program’s beneficiaries, and its operations and benefits awarded accounted for 8 percent of the national program’s total federal expenditures.[10]

  • anmpr1

    PR is one large welfare black hole.  In fact, there is a scam where enterprising Puerto Ricans temporarily migrate to the mainland in order to get their kids and other family members on SSI, and then it’s back to PR.  Once PR is a state, they won’t have to make the trip to scam their SSI disability, although it will be mostly mainland white Republican taxpayers who wind up paying for it.

    With this in mind, Puerto Ricans will never vote for anyone but a Democrat since there is no way the Republicans can out pander Dems.  But they sure are trying.

  • I personally do not think that Puerto Rico will ever be the 51st state due to the a good portion of the population not being able to speak and are literate in English. Immigration is not an issue for Puerto Ricans because they are US citizens.

    • anmpr1

       The fact that the main PR population may not speak English is beside the point.  There are areas in the US where the population mostly speaks Spanish.  And these PRs can speak enough to pass some sort of minimalist test.  Besides, if the Dems remain in control, it won’t even matter since English speaking is just a “technicality” that can be overlooked, or otherwise ignored. 

      The ONLY things keeping PR from statehood are the remnants of white resistance to the idea, and the fewer PRs who do not yet see the welfare benefit.  Do you not think that the Dems are looking for two additional Senators, and the requisite number of Representatives they can then control in order to completely destroy the Republican opposition?

      Once whites are replaced and further dispossessed, it will be easy enough to accomplish.  Of course all of this depends on the economy not completely tanking, and civil society completely disintegrating, in which case all bets are off.

  • Southern__Hoosier

    ““Those people who don’t think that Latinos will vote for a Republican need to take a look in Puerto Rico,”

    Boy is he in for a rude awaking come November, if he thinks he is going to carry the Hispanic vote.

    • They and possibly the elderly Cubans in Miami are the only Latinos that will probably vote Republican. Both groups do not have immigration as a priority issue since Puerto Ricans are US citizens and Cubans can get permanent residency as long as they step on the shores of Miami.

      • The_Bobster

        PR’s never vote Republican. They love the welfare state.

        • But the Miami Cubans do. They share the same values as Anglo Republicans. In fact, many of them consider themselves white as opposed to Hispanic.

          • The_Bobster

            The old ones do, but not the younger ones. They like the free stuff.

            Besides, there has been mass migration of other Hispanics into Dade County.

  • JohnEngelman

    Romney framed his win in Puerto Rico as the territory’s desire for a candidate that “most represents their feelings”—and especially their desire to nominate some who can bring about a stronger economy and a smaller government.           
    – CNN, March 19, 2012                                                                    

     When have cuts in government spending been followed by declines in unemployment, and growth in the per capita gross domestic product? If anyone wishes to answer, these websites should be of help.

    • The_Bobster

      When have cuts in government spending been followed by declines in unemployment?


      Within a few years after the end of WWII. 

  • JohnEngelman

    After arriving in Puerto Rico on Friday, Romney said he would have “no preconditions” on language for Puerto Rico to gain statehood.    

    – CNN, March 19, 2012        

    There is no reason for Republican candidates to use the same appeals to win black and Hispanic votes that Democratic candidates do. Black and Hispanics who vote Republican do so for different reasons than most black and Hispanic voters vote Democrat.  In general blacks and Hispanics who vote Republican are more religious, more concerned about crime, and more prosperous than blacks and Hispanics who vote Democrat.

  • The_Bobster

    I’m surprised that PR gets that many Republican delegates at all, given the small number of Republicans on the island. Hell, there are so few of them that each of them could be a delegate.

  • The_Bobster

    Liberals keep bringing up issues until their side wins. Then they’re “closed and settled”.

  • Im puertorrican, im white and i fought in iraq for this country.

    • IstvanIN

      With all due respect I understand that there are white Puerto Ricans who are loyal, and PROUD to be US citizens. I have actually known some.  And I thank you for your service.  But you are a minority among Puerto Ricans.  Most Puerto Ricans are Puerto Rican first and foremost.  Most Puerto Ricans do not consider themselves “white” in the American sense (even when they are).  And they are “Americans” only in the legal sense (it says so on my passport).

      The problem, of course, starts with the Federal government.  At the time Puerto Ricans were given the US Citizenship (1919 I think) there should have been a provision that all Puerto Rico government would be conducted in English (with an appropriate transition period) and that all public schools starting with first grade would teach English.  Thus Puerto Ricans could have become just like any other Americans, maintaining their own culture and language at home but becoming English speaking Americans in the public sphere.  If that was unacceptable then no citizenship.  But it is too late for that and Puerto Rico remains the “other” brand of US citizen. 

      Let’s be real, Puerto Rico remains a “voluntary associated state” because they get the advantage of the US safety net while pretending to be a sovereign nation. 

      Multiculturalism is a farce and will be the death of the US.  Puerto Rico statehood in all likelyhood will not accelerate the demise.  When the end comes everyone, including Puerto Rico, will go down the tubes.  No one realized how good they had it.

  • The National food stamp program was LBJ/Great Society.  There might have been local or state programs in various liberal cities or states before then.