But here’s the wrinkle: Even if candidates get more than 20 percent in a particular district, Texas only awards delegates to the top two candidates. If they’re in third place, they get nothing.
That’s exactly what happened to Rubio. In six districts, he passed the 20 percent threshold but still trailed second-place Trump, often by less than 2 percent. Accordingly, he got nothing. In the end, he won his three delegates from three different districts, each time narrowly beating Trump for that coveted second slot.
All this can seem like small potatoes. But 502,000 people voted for Marco Rubio in Texas. Only 54,000 of them lived in districts where he won a delegate. The other 89 percent of his supporters? Their votes were useless.
And if that doesn’t scare you, consider that Alabama and Georgia had nearly identical rules. Oklahoma and Tennessee had different cutoffs, but essentially the same system.