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Updated February 28th, 2024 at 10:07 IST

Trump Defeats Indian-American Nikki Haley in Michigan Primary, Biden wins Democratic Primary

Incumbent US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump won their respective parties’ Michigan's presidential primaries on Tuesday, and the two candidates continue marching toward a likely rematch in the November 2024 race for the White House.

Trump Biden Nikki Haley Ron Desantis 2024 election
US President Joe Biden, GOP rival Nikki Haley, former US President Donald Trump. | Image:AP
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Incumbent US President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump won their respective parties’ Michigan's presidential primaries on Tuesday, and the two candidates continue marching toward a likely rematch in the November 2024 race for the White House. Trump easily defeated his main rival, Indian-American Nikki Haley, winning yet another early contest and additional delegates — bringing him one step closer to being able to formally secure the Republican Party's nomination.

When last reports came in, Haley had received 28.9 per cent of the votes as against Trump’s 66.4 per cent. The New York Times projected that 77-year-old Trump would sweep the Michigan primary with more than 40 per cent of the votes against 52-year-old Haley. Biden thanked every Michigander who made their voice heard.

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“I want to thank every Michigander who made their voice heard today. Exercising the right to vote and participating in our democracy is what makes America great," Biden said in a statement.

“Four years ago, it was Michigan’s diverse coalition that came together to reject Donald Trump’s MAGA extremism and sent me and Kamala to the White House. Because of Michiganders, we’ve been able to work hand in hand with Governor Whitmer and the incredible Democratic leaders in Michigan’s congressional delegation to deliver enormous progress...," he said.

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However, a key feature of the Democratic primary in Michigan, which has a significant Muslim population, as over 14 per cent of Biden's Democratic voters cast ballots for the “uncommitted” as part of their protest against the 81-year-old president for his handling of the Israel-Palestine war.

“Joe Biden is losing about 20 per cent of the Democratic vote today, and many say it’s a sign of his weakness in November. Donald Trump is losing about 35 per cent of the vote. That’s a flashing warning sign for Trump in November. Since Trump became president in 2016, he lost Michigan Republicans the state House, state Senate, and Governor’s mansion. What was once a beacon for the conservative cause, the Michigan Republican Party is now fractured and divided,” Nikki Haley for President campaign's national spokesperson, Olivia Perez-Cubas, said in a statement after the results came out.

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“Let this serve as another warning sign that what has happened in Michigan will continue to play out across the country. So as long as Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, Republicans will keep losing to the socialist left. Our children deserve better,” Perez-Cubas said.

In New Hampshire and South Carolina, Haley got about 40 per cent of the votes. Next Tuesday primaries will be held in 21 States. Given the current trend, Trump is expected to emerge as the presumptive nominee of the Republican party by March 2. This will result in a rematch of the 2020 elections: Biden vs Trump. However, according to The Washington Post, both Trump and Biden are facing internal challenges within the party.

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“Trump continues to face a faction of Republicans who refuse to back his candidacy despite his chokehold on the nomination. Biden was confronted with a protest movement urging Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the primary over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Early returns showed that “uncommitted” was poised to easily garner more than 10 per cent of the vote statewide,” the Politico reported.

While for Biden, the main political threat has come from progressives and like-minded voters, for Trump, the threats have been both political and legal. “His unbroken swing of early state victories has given him a commanding position in Republican politics. But he remains embroiled in court cases stemming from his business practices and his time in office,” he said.

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Earlier in the day, the Haley campaign said that it was going ahead with the Super Tuesday fight. "She’s in Michigan today and heading to Super Tuesday states across the country over the next week. We must get it right this election!” said the campaign. In an interview with CNN, Haley said that she has concerns about both Biden and Trump.

“I have serious concerns about Donald Trump. I have even more concerns about Joe Biden. But I don't think either one should be president, and that's why I'm running. And so I'm going to continue to run as long as Americans say they want a choice, as long as Americans say they want someone to vote for. I'm going to continue to do that,” she said.

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“And what a blessing it is in America that we can. This is not Russia where you've got a dictator that goes and kills his political opponents. This is America where people can have their voices heard. This is America where you can go and be anything you want to be without anyone getting in the way. This is America that was built on faith, family, and country,” Haley told CNN.

“That's what I'm trying to do is get us to remember our purpose, get us to remember who we are as Americans in the first place. Not a divided country, not a divided party, not a country sitting in anger, but one sitting in hope and energy and saying that we're going to do this for our kids. That's what I'm going to keep fighting for. I'm not going to think about what's going to happen 10 days, two months, three months from now,” she said in response to a question. 

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 10:07 IST

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