Romney planning to campaign in Puerto Rico
In Puerto Rico, Romney will be in front of a large population of Latino voters for the first time since January. (Flickr: Gage Skidmore)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plans to campaign in an unlikely spot in the coming days: Puerto Rico.
Romney will likely make a stop in the U.S. commonwealth, which holds its presidential primary on March 18, sometime late next week, a campaign official said.
Puerto Rico offers a prime opportunity for Romney to add to his delegate lead over his closest competitors, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. The island’s primary carries with it 23 delegates, 20 of which Romney could win outright if he wins more than 50 percent of the vote. Romney in January secured the endorsement of the island’s governor, Luis Fortuño (R).
So far, no other candidate has indicated they will campaign in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico primary could give Romney a needed boost, considering that the next series of contests in southern and midwestern states, such as Mississippi, Alabama and Kansas, are unfriendly territory for the former Massachusetts governor.
Romney’s stop on the island will also be the first time since the Florida primary in late January he’ll address a sizable community of Latino voters. As many as 400,000 people are expected to participate in the Puerto Rico primary, more than those who voted in Iowa and New Hampshire combined.
Although Puerto Ricans on the island cannot vote in the general election, over 4.5 million Puerto Ricans live in the United States and are eligible to vote as U.S. citizens, and many maintain a strong connection with the island.