Marco Rubio 3rd Republican in 80 years to win a state, but lose home primary

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Marco Rubio’s big-time loss to Donald Trump in Tuesday night’s Florida presidential primary puts him in distinguished company.

The loss makes him just the third Republican since the Great Depression to lose a home presidential primary in a cycle in which he won at least one state, according to a new Smart Politics report.

The other two Republican candidates to lose at home while still winning at least one state were George H.W. Bush in 1980 (who lost Texas to Ronald Reagan by 3.6 percentage points) and Pat Robertson in 1988 (who won in Iowa but lost Virginia to George H.W. Bush in 1988).

 What about Pat Buchanan in 1996, some political nerd might be asking? While winning four other states that year, his home state of Virginia (bizarrely enough) did not host a primary.

Smart Politics also notes that in 2012 Ron Paul lost his home state of Texas, though he had a plurality of four states at the national convention.

The post also notes that nearly two-dozen other Republican presidential candidates have lost their home states since 1912, but none of them ever won a state in their campaigns.

In addition to Minnesota, Rubio also won the Puerto Rico primary and the Washington, D.C. caucuses.

Smart Politics is a blog written by Dr. Eric Ostermeier.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.