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Biden loses 13% of Michigan primary vote to “uncommitted” protest; Haley staying in GOP race

Biden loses 13%: President Biden and Donald Trump both emerge victorious from their respective primaries in Michigan last night, further cementing the likelihood that they’ll square off in the general election come November. This marks Trump’s fifth primary win over Nikki Haley, who is vowing to stay in the race despite recent losses. The former South Carolina governor got just under 27% of the vote. And while Biden won yesterday’s democratic contest, more than hundred thousand people voted uncommitted to protest his support of Israel’s war in Gaza.

Biden loses 13% of Michigan primary vote

As one Michigan democratic source put it to me this morning, they know that they have a lot of work to do going and leading into November. And if you just look at the raw total, yes, the percentage was closer to 13%, which tracks with past uncommitted performances in presidential elections. But hundred thousand voters, that could really make the difference in this battleground state, where the race already looks close between former President Trump and Joe Biden, and a 10th of that ended up being the difference between Clinton and Trump in 2016.

Biden loses 13%

So Democrats, at least so far in this immediate reaction, are taking note of it and looking at what they can do to kind of win these voters back, because a lot of them in my time here in Michigan have told me that they will sit out in November.

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What people are saying about their strategy, voting in a primary versus a general election, are those uncommitted votes likely to be in favor of Biden when it comes to a choice between Biden and Trump?

Now, that’s something I’ve been hearing from progressive voters and others, mainly from talking to the arab american population, muslim voters, especially in Dearborn, the high concentration of that population there, they seem very upset. They have personal ties to what’s going on in Gaza. So they have told me that they will stay out in November.

Not all of them will. Maybe once you get that binary choice, and especially as the Biden campaign looks to remind voters about that choice, but it’ll be interesting to see how many of the uncommitted voters do end up staying home and leaving the top of the ballot blank.

Biden loses 13%

Okay, let’s talk about the republican race as well. Nikki Haley, we know, showing some cooling momentum, this race marking her largest margin of a loss to Trump since the candidate pool shrunk to the two of them. So why is she staying on?

Well, it was a short window right between South Carolina and Michigan and now Super Tuesday. She did campaign here, two rallies, but then went on to the rest of the Super Tuesday states. In her eyes, as she has put it, there is at least 30% to 40% of the republican electorate that wants to move on from Trump. And I was hearing that during the primary that people were fatigued.

They didn’t think Trump could win. But as he has shown election after election, he still has a grip on the Republican Party. But the second quick thing I’ll mention is money. Obviously, there was a big outside group supporting Haley that bowed out, but she and her campaign are still confident in the money they’ve been raising. They’re going to be making fundraising trips as they go through these Super Tuesday states in the next week or so.

And we should notice while Michigan’s contests are not over just yet for republicans, the nominating conventions happening Saturday.

That’s right, there are two dueling conventions happening on Saturday, in part because there’s just this conflict between two people that say they are the chairs of the republican party here in Michigan, though a judge ruled last night that only one of them is the valid party chair. But regardless, in terms of the math, only 16 delegates were awarded during last night’s primary for republicans, in part because the RNC and Michigan had to come to an agreement because Michigan was going earlier in the calendar.

So a majority of the delegates will be awarded on Saturday, but it’s still no question that those delegates will be going to form President Trump.

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