PoliticsTakeaways from the Michigan Primary win for both Biden and Trump

Takeaways from the Michigan Primary win for both Biden and Trump

Biden’s victory in the Democratic primary was overshadowed by a strong showing of “uncommitted” voters

The Michigan presidential primary on Tuesday delivered wins for Joe Biden and Donald Trump but also revealed severe challenges for both candidates as they prepare for a possible rematch in November. The war in Gaza and the dissatisfaction with the party leaders drove many voters to cast protest ballots or support alternative candidates, signalling potential trouble for the frontrunners in a crucial swing state.

Biden faces backlash over Gaza war stance

Biden’s victory in the Democratic primary was overshadowed by a strong showing of “uncommitted” voters, who expressed their displeasure with his response to the ongoing war in Gaza. Biden has maintained his support for Israel’s right to self-defence despite the mounting civilian casualties and international calls for a ceasefire. Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 29,000 Palestinians since Hamas launched rockets at Israel on October 7, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

A coalition of progressive, young, and Arab American Democrats called Listen to Michigan urged voters to choose “uncommitted” protest vote to send Biden a message that his stance on Gaza could cost him their support in the general election. According to a CNN estimate based on the state’s primary results, “uncommitted” received about 13% of the vote, translating to two delegates going to the Democratic National Convention without pledging to any candidate. This is a significant number, considering that Trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes in 2016.

Some of Biden’s allies in Michigan have warned him of the political consequences of his Gaza policy. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who endorsed Biden, tried to persuade voters that “any vote that’s not cast for Joe Biden supports a second Trump term,” but her appeal failed to sway many voters. Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, who correctly predicted Trump’s victory in 2016, has been sounding the alarm for weeks, urging Biden to change course on Gaza.

Trump faces resistance from GOP voters

Trump’s win in the Republican primary also masked a significant weakness: a persistent resistance from a sizable portion of his party. About 30% of Republican voters either chose former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has been critical of Trump, or voted “uncommitted,” indicating their dissatisfaction with the incumbent. This is a worrying sign for Trump, who needs to consolidate his base and win back some of the voters who switched to Biden in 2020.

Michigan was one of the states that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020, giving Biden a margin of about 150,000 votes. Trump has been trying to regain his popularity in the state by touting his economic policies, his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and his support for Israel. However, his efforts have not been enough to overcome the opposition from some Republicans who are unhappy with his leadership style, his divisive rhetoric, and his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Trump’s nomination for a third term is almost certain. However, his performance in Michigan suggests that he still has a lot of work to do to unify his party and win over the independent and moderate voters who could decide the outcome in November.

Biden wins big, Haley falls short

Joe Biden scored a decisive victory in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, dealing a significant blow to his rival Bernie Sanders and cementing his status as the party’s presumptive nominee.

Biden won 60% of the vote, compared to 20% for Sanders and 20% for “uncommitted”, a protest option backed by some progressive activists who wanted to send a message to the White House about its handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The former vice president also won most of the state’s 125 delegates, expanding his lead over Sanders in the race for the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Biden thanked his supporters in a speech from Philadelphia, where he emphasized his appeal to a broad coalition of voters across racial, geographic and ideological lines.

“”I’d want to congratulate Bernie Sanders and his followers for their untiring energy and commitment. “We have a common goal, and by working together we will defeat Donald Trump,” Biden stated.

Sanders, who had hoped to repeat his surprise win in Michigan four years ago, did not address the results on Tuesday night. His campaign said he would assess his path forward in the coming days.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Trump easily won the primary with 65% of the vote, fending off a long-shot challenge from former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who got 25%.

Haley, who resigned as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations in 2019, has been running a quixotic campaign against the president, arguing that he is unfit for office and that she is the only Republican who can defeat Biden in November.

But Haley has failed to gain traction among GOP voters, who remain loyal to Trump and his agenda. She has not won a single state or territory and has only amassed 12 delegates out of the 1,276 needed to win the nomination.

Haley’s campaign tried to spin the Michigan results

Haley’s campaign attempted to turn the Michigan results as a sign of Trump’s vulnerability, pointing out that he lost 35% of the vote to Haley and other candidates.

“”Joe Biden is losing roughly 20% of the Democratic vote this morning, and many believe it is a warning of his vulnerability in November. Donald Trump has lost roughly 35% of the vote. “That is a bright warning sign for Trump in November,” Haley campaign director Olivia Perez-Cubas stated.

However, Haley’s argument has not resonated with GOP voters, who have overwhelmingly rejected her bid to challenge Trump. Haley’s best performance so far was in New Hampshire, where she came in second with 29% of the vote, 11 points behind Trump.

Haley faces an uphill battle to stay in the race as the Republican contest moves to the more favorable territory for Trump. Next week, 15 states and territories will hold their primaries, with over one-third of the party’s delegates at stake. Many of these contests are winner-take-all, meaning Haley has little chance of adding to her delegate count.

Haley told CNN’s Dana Bash that her goal in Michigan was “to be as competitive as possible.” But with time running out and her margins shrinking, Haley may soon face the reality that her campaign is going nowhere.

Dean Phillips fades away Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips had a slim chance of avoiding the last place in a two-way primary on Tuesday night. His hopeless and ignored attempt to beat Biden failed, as voters who were unhappy with the president’s backing of Israel in its conflict with Hamas preferred to vote for “uncommitted” instead of the only other Democratic candidate in the race.

Phillips was even more humiliated by tying with Marianne Williamson — the writer and speaker who quit her unlikely campaign weeks ago. Phillips’ best result was in New Hampshire, where he got almost 20% of the Democratic primary vote. But Biden was not on the ballot — he skipped the contest after New Hampshire officials rejected the Democratic National Committee’s new primary schedule — and no delegates were up for grabs there.

Biden easily won with write-in votes, anyway.

The first contest in the Midwest should have been a chance for Phillips to show his strength.

But on Tuesday night, he posted on X, the platform that used to be Twitter, and said: “If you are angry at me for daring to challenge Joe Biden, at least you can see how much better I make him look among primary voters!” Another GOP showdown in Michigan on Saturday Only 16 of Michigan’s 55 delegates to the Republican National Convention were decided in Tuesday’s primary. The rest will be chosen at a state party convention on Saturday.

The split contests result from Republicans’ response to Democrats’ decision to change the party’s presidential nominating calendar after the 2020 election — pushing Iowa and New Hampshire back, moving South Carolina and Nevada forward and putting Michigan third in their new order.

Republicans did not want an earlier Michigan primary, which broke Republican National Committee rules that limit which states can hold contests before March 1. After Democrats, who have the majority in the legislature and the governor’s office, moved the Michigan primary to February 27 despite the Republican opposition, the RNC and the Michigan GOP developed the hybrid model.

Making things more complicated: The Michigan GOP is in the middle of a fight over who is in charge of the party, with two people saying they are the party’s leaders planning different conventions on Saturday.

The RNC and Trump have recognized Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and US ambassador to the Netherlands, as chair; Hoekstra planned a Saturday convention in Grand Rapids. But Kristina Karamo, the presidential election conspiracies believe that the state’s ruling party voted to oust in January, has refused to give up control, claiming she was forced out illegally.

She has planned a convention in Detroit. On Tuesday, Kent County Circuit Court Judge J. Joseph Rossi confirmed Karamo’s removal as state party chair, saying that any actions she has taken since then for the party were “invalid and have no effect.” She has not yet said if the convention she planned for Detroit would still happen. No matter what Karamo does, the RNC’s decision to recognize Hoekstra means that the party will accept delegates from the convention he will run.

Nathan Enzo
Nathan Enzo
A professional writer since 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Nathan Enzo ran the creative writing department for the major News Channels until 2018. He then worked as a Senior content writer with LiveNewsof.com, including national newspapers, magazines, and online work. He specializes in media studies and social communications.


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