Clinton wins first N. Marianas caucuses; one Guam GOP delegate favors Cruz
(March 12, 2016) — Hillary Clinton has won the first-ever Northern Mariana Islands Democratic caucuses, according to final results from the local Democratic Party. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, picked up a delegate in Guam, but the state’s other five delegates remain uncommitted.
Clinton received 102 total votes (54%), compared to 65 votes for Bernie Sanders (34%) in the Northern Mariana Islands. An additional 22 votes were cast for “uncommitted.”
The former secretary of state picked up four additional delegates with her win, while Sanders earned two delegates. Clinton already had the support of an unpledged superdelegate from the Northern Marianas.
This is Clinton’s 14th victory in her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination and her second in a U.S. territory. She won the American Samoa caucus on Super Tuesday, March 1. Bernie Sanders has won nine contests, most recently his upset victory over Clinton in Michigan on March 8.
Voting was held Saturday evening on the islands Tinian, Saipan, and Rota. It was the only Democratic contest held this weekend.
Guam still mostly uncommitted
Also on Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz picked up a delegate Saturday from the far-away territory of Guam, but the big winner on the island this weekend was “uncommitted.”
Guam’s Republican Party met early Saturday morning — Friday evening in Eastern Time — to elect delegates to this summer’s convention in Cleveland. six delegates were elected, but only one of them, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, has publicly endorsed a presidential candidate — Ted Cruz, according to party Executive Director Juan Carlos Benitez.
Benitez, himself a delegate, remains uncommitted, as do the other four elected delegates.
Benitez said the entire Guam delegation, the six delegates elected Saturday as well as the party chairman and the territory’s two RNC reps, who all serve as automatic convention delegates, will meet within the next two weeks to hear from the four presidential campaigns and announce their endorsements.
Guam does not hold a traditional primary or caucus, where candidates win delegates based on a presidential preference vote. Instead, delegates are elected directly at a party convention, and those elected delegates are free to support whomever they choose. Both the Republican and Democratic parties allow Guam and the other U.S. territories to participate in the presidential nomination process, although territories may not vote in the general election.
Guam Republicans met at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort in Tumon, where they heard phone calls, videos and letters from the four remaining candidates.
Cruz sent a letter that said in part, “It’s Guams’ time… Guam is of great strategic importance to the United States. It is time we treat it as such.” Marco Rubio sent a videotape calling for a new generation of leaders, and John Kasich made a live phone call in which he discussed veteran’s health benefits and the Veterans Administration.
But the lightest moment of the night came when Trump made a phone call to the gathering. After asking for the delegates’ support, Trump said, “Nobody will do the job that I can do. And on top of that, I’m going to win, so it’s one of those things.” Laughter and applause rang out as Trump continued, “I hear cheering in the background. I love you too.”
Frontrunner Donald Trump described his call in a tweet late Friday night: “I just got off the phone with the great people of Guam! Thank you for your support! #VoteTrump today!”