Wash.

5,724 votes

Minnesota

Vermont

17,051 votes

1,057 votes

Wyo.

R.I.

1,280 votes

3,722 votes

California

Del.

135,279 votes

1,998 votes

Hawaii

3,065 votes

Florida

187,209 votes

More votes

Fewer votes

More votes

Fewer votes

Vermont

Washington

1,057 votes

5,724 votes

2.9% of the vote

0.3% of the vote

Minnesota

17,051 votes

5.9% of the vote

Wyoming

Rhode Island

1,280 votes

3,722 votes

1.1% of the vote

12.3% of the vote

California

135,279 votes

Delaware

2% of the vote

1,998 votes

5.3% of the vote

Florida

187,209 votes

11.4% of the vote

Hawaii

3,065 votes

9.4% of the vote

Washington

More votes

Fewer votes

5,724 votes

0.3% of the vote

Minnesota

Vermont

17,051 votes

1,057 votes

5.9% of the vote

2.9% of the vote

Rhode Island

Wyoming

3,722 votes

1,280 votes

12.3% of the vote

1.1% of the vote

California

Delaware

135,279 votes

1,998 votes

2% of the vote

5.3% of the vote

Florida

187,209 votes

11.4% of the vote

Hawaii

3,065 votes

9.4% of the vote

People who follow primary results closely, including those of us who work on election results pages, have gotten very familiar with the name Rocky De La Fuente.

In 2016, he ran for president — first for the Democratic nomination and then as an independent in the general. That same year, he ran in the Democratic primary for Florida Senate. In 2017, he attempted to run for New York mayor but was blocked by residency requirements.

But in 2018 he really went for it, running for Senate in seven Republican primaries and the California and Washington open primaries. Constitutionally, this is totally fine.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.”

U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 3, clause 3. Emphasis is The Washington Post’s.

Candidates aren’t elected until the general election. So if De La Fuente had won any of his nine primaries, he would have had plenty of time to become an inhabitant of that state before Nov. 6.

De La Fuente told The Post that he originally planned to run in either California or Florida, where the incumbent senators were “weak, ineffective, and out of touch with reality” and unable to stand up to President Trump, who he considers “out of control.” By the time he realized he was qualified to run for Senate anywhere, filing deadlines for all but seven other states had passed.

For the best experience, please pair this article with the theme song from Rocky, about a different underdog Rocky.

De La Fuente lives in California, where his family made its fortune in real estate holdings and car dealerships. He also has business ties to Florida but was harder pressed to explain his connections to the other states. When asked why he was running in Wyoming, he told NBC News “[I] love Wyoming, I love to ski in Jackson Hole. Plus, the filing fee is only $200.”

He is far from the first politician to take advantage of these loose constitutional requirements. In August, Carol Hafner won 15 percent of the vote in the Alaska Democratic House primary, but she hadn’t even visited the state before her candidacy. Robert Kennedy was elected senator in New York in 1964, after previously living in the District as a member of his brother’s Cabinet and in Massachusetts before that.

But no one else has tried so many states at once. You’d think that the volume of elections would cause voters to turn against De La Fuente, but his best showing actually came in one of the final states of the primary season, when he picked up 12.3 percent of the vote in Rhode Island.

De La Fuente’s vote share in each

state, in order of election date.

0% vote

share

4%

8%

12%

Rocky I: Calif.

Rocky II: Wash.

Rocky III: Hawaii

Rocky IV: Vt.

Rocky V: Minn.

Rocky VI: Wyo.

Rocky VII: Fla.

Rocky VIII: Del.

Rocky IX: R.I.

De La Fuente’s vote share in each state, in order of election date.

0% vote

share

2%

4%

6%

8%

10%

12%

14%

Rocky I: California

Rocky II: Washington

Rocky III: Hawaii

Rocky IV: Vermont

Rocky V: Minnesota

Rocky VI: Wyoming

Rocky VII: Florida

Rocky VIII: Delaware

Rocky IX: Rhode Island

De La Fuente had a nice advantage in the Ocean State: He was one of just two candidates on the ballot. The same was true in Florida, where he got 11.4 percent of the vote against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. This race was a bit of a disappointment for De La Fuente, who expected to receive “over 250,000 votes” based off initial returns and alleges that the final results were manipulated.

He also believes that the Democratic establishment manipulated his vote totals in the 2016 Democratic primary, in order to give Hillary Clinton a clear path to the nomination. In his telling, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley (D) were handpicked to make the race appear fair. After decades with the Democratic Party – he once served as a California superdelegate – this perceived conspiracy led him to start running as a Republican.

There are two states where De La Fuente’s 2018 involvement could have potentially affected the primary result. In Hawaii, De La Fuente won 9.4 percent of the vote and came in fifth in a crowded field of eight candidates. If his votes had been distributed to either the second-, third- or fourth-place candidate, it would have been enough to produce a new winner. De La Fuente’s vote total in Vermont was also larger than the final margin of victory between the top-two candidates. Republicans are not expected to seriously challenge for either seat in November.

De La Fuente was not fazed by his many 2018 defeats. In 2020, he intends to seek the presidential nomination as a Republican. He brushes away questions about any potential 2022 Senate runs.“I plan to beat Trump.”

About this story

Data from certified state election results.

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