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*-- Marco Rubio wins D.C. GOP caucus, edges out John Kasich --*

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio picked up his third win Saturday taking 37 percent of the Washington, D.C., caucus votes, barely edging out Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The Florida senator previously won the Minnesota caucus and the Puerto Rico primary.

Kasich took 36 percent of the primary votes, NBC News reported. Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz trailed by substantial margins, with Trump getting 14 percent of the votes and Cruz getting 12 percent.

Some D.C. voters waited in line for up to three hours to cast ballots, many calling it one of the most significant GOP primaries in years, the Washington Post reported.

José Cunningham, chairman of the capital city's Republican Party, said the allocation of 19 delegates would be in proportion to the votes received.

"It's exciting to see this many Republicans in D.C.," said Erika Walter, 27, as she waited in line to vote. The line at her polling placed snaked down 15th Street and wound around L Street. Many endured a light rain as they waited in the long line.

Washington Republicans say they pull more weight than many might think, because they have as many delegates as Hawaii and more than Vermont and Delaware. GOP officials said they held the primary earlier than usual so they could have a say in the nomination process while the race is still competitive.

Trump remains the Republican front-runner with 457 delegates before Saturday's vote and Cruz is in second with 364 delegates. Those numbers will change once the 19 delegates are allocated.

Rubio's win comes three days before one of the biggest days of the early schedule in what some refer to as the second Super Tuesday.

Florida and Ohio will allot 165 delegates between them. Other large delegate numberswill come from North Carolina and Missouri.

Rubio continues working on a win in his home state of Florida while Kasich, too, is focusing on his home state, Ohio.

A win by either won't necessarily make it possible for them to win the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination. It will, however, make it more difficult for Trump to reach that number.


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