Unofficial results show that Mitt Romney has taken Puerto Rico today in the primary in a sweep, garnering 83% of the total amount of votes.
Rick Santorum was the distant second in the race, taking only 8% of the votes, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul took just 2% and 1% of the total respectively.
Romney says the win shows that Puerto Rico is ready for a change, and the need for someone to represent their views.
“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. “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.”
Some think, however, that the win came only because of Santorum’s gaffe last week at the expense of Puerto Ricans, when he said they would have to learn to speak English if they wanted to pursue U.S. statehood.
The territory was a big “get” for Romney, as it ushers him in to the Illinois primary on Tuesday with 20 more GOP delegates in his corner. In order to secure a nomination, 1,144 delegates have to be secured, and as it stands now, Romney is in the clear lead with 518. He is the projected winner for Illinois, although he only holds a small lead over Santorum. He tweeted his thanks for the support of Puerto Rico earlier today:
@LuisFortuno51, his wife, & the people of Puerto Rico for their support & help in winning today’s primaryAnn and I are deeply grateful to
Santorum, on the other hand, is expected to win the Louisiana primary on Saturday. The two continue to bash it out in a numbers game as they criss-cross the state primaries, battling for the Republican nomination.
Twitter was buzzing today with updates on the win from both sides of the political dividing line:
I want to see Mitt Romney awkwardly pander in Puerto Rico.