Hillary Clinton Wins the Puerto Rico Democratic Primary

She’s one small step closer to clinching the nomination.

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in El Centro, California.<a href="">John Locher</a>/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


With two days to go before Hillary Clinton likely secures the 2,383 delegates she needs to win the Democratic presidential nomination, voters in Puerto Rico handed Clinton a victory on Sunday. When the race was called by the major networks, Clinton was winning 64 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 34 percent, and a likely majority of the territory’s 60 pledged delegates.

On Tuesday, Democratic voters will go to the polls in six states, including delegate-rich California and New Jersey. Barring overwhelming victories for Sanders, the contests will ensure that Clinton wins both a majority of pledged delegates and a majority of overall delegates, assuming her support does not erode significantly among party-insider superdelegates.

But even if its vote won’t change the outcome of the race, Puerto Rico was in the relatively rare position of playing more than a bit role in this year’s election because of its colossal debt crisis. Candidates from both parties weighed in on whether the US government should allow the island to restructure debts under US bankruptcy laws. Puerto Rico’s government, which owes more than $72 billion, has already defaulted three times on various debt payments.

Clinton and Sanders have different opinions on legislation that would help Puerto Rico restructure its debt but would also create a financial review board with oversight of the island’s finances, harking back to the island’s colonial roots. Clinton said she had “serious concerns” about the review board but urged swift passage. Sanders, on the other hand, said the bill would prioritize creditors over Puerto Rico’s residents and encouraged other Democrats not to support it.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens who can vote in primaries but not in the general election while they live on the island. However, if they move to the mainland United States, they can vote in the general election. That’s made Puerto Ricans a key voting bloc in places like Florida and New York and forced the presidential candidates to devote more attention than usual to the island and its struggles.

On Saturday, the US Virgin Islands also held its Democratic caucuses, and Hillary Clinton easily won the 12 delegates that were at stake.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate