When Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday he already had won 169 delegates, according to The Associated Press' count. But what happens with those delegates now that he is out of the race can be a complicated matter?
State GOP rules differ, and most of the Rubio delegates are required to vote for him at least on the first ballot. But according to the The Hill,
81 of Rubio's delegates could have the freedom to vote for someone else even on the first ballot at July's Republican National Convention.
In the vast majority of election years, it would make little difference where a vanquished candidate's delegates votes would go on a second ballot because one candidate typically picks up enough to reach the total needed for the nomination.
But this year the possibility is real that no candidate will make it to the big event with the nomination already sewn up. Front-runner Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are the only two candidates who actually have a chance at doing so, but neither has lock as of yet.
According the The Hill, 54 Rubio delegates likely will become unbound to the candidate. They come from New Hampshire, Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and Louisiana. Twenty-nine others from from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas can be released only by Rubio himself.
Meanwhile, 19 delegates from Nevada, Kentucky and Alaska are set to be reallocated by state party leaders. The 76 delegates from Iowa, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and North Carolina must stick with Rubio on the first ballot.
His only other delegate, from Wyoming, could possibly be unbound as the result of complex rules at the state party level, according to The Hill.
quotes Anne Li of the FiveThirtyEight blog as calling the whole process "fuzzy and complicated.
As an example, she notes that Kentucky's seven Rubio delegates must hold a meeting with the state's bound delegates and vote on a secret ballot on reallocating themselves to another candidate.
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