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Biden and Trump win Michigan primaries

Biden and Trump win Michigan primaries

Baku, February 28, AZERTAC

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won their respective parties’ primaries in Michigan on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Biden overcame an activist-led push to lodge protest votes over his response to Israel’s war with Hamas, although the effort was at roughly 13% of the vote shortly after midnight.

Biden is barreling toward the Democratic nomination for a second term, while the former president is heading toward securing the GOP nod for the third straight election.

Trump’s win further shuts the door on former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s hopes of building momentum ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday contests, when more than one-third of the party’s delegates are at stake.

While Biden easily won the Democratic race, the results carried some warning signs for the president. He faced organized resistance led by Arab and Muslim Americans, as anger over the administration’s handling of Israel’s war in Gaza sparked a campaign to convince Democratic voters to cast protest ballots for “uncommitted.”

The effort, called “Listen to Michigan,” was endorsed by Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and former Rep. Andy Levin, and backed by progressive groups such as Our Revolution, the organization spun out of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid. (Sanders had no part in that decision, according to a spokesperson, and is supporting Biden.)

Even as the votes were still being counted Tuesday night, organizers of the Michigan group deemed their campaign a success.

“We demand President Biden to take action now – bring a permanent ceasefire,” said Layla Elabed, the campaign manager for the group. “A vote uncommitted was a humanitarian vote.”

She said the effort was just beginning, with plans to keep pressure on the president alive in the eight months until the November election.

“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 on the primary results that took aim at Trump and did not acknowledge the uncommitted movement.

The Michigan primary was moved up near the front of the Democratic presidential nominating calendar this year. With Biden’s encouragement, party officials demoted Iowa and New Hampshire from their traditional spots on the calendar in hopes of building a more diverse lineup of early voting states, which typically command attention and winnow the party’s field of contenders.

Michigan is also among the most important presidential swing states — and one that helped deliver Trump the White House in 2016 after a nearly 11,000-vote win there. Biden defeated Trump in Michigan by about 150,000 votes four years later.

Activists sought to send Biden a message about the political costs of his support for Israel in a must-win state. Dearborn, in particular, is home to one of the largest Arab American communities in the United States.

In 2020, nearly 146,000 Muslim Americans voted in the general election in Michigan, according to an analysis by Emgage, a group working to grow Muslim Americans’ political power.

“This is not an anti-Biden campaign,” Elabed, Palestinian American, recently told CNN. “It’s a humanitarian vote. It’s a protest vote. It is a vote that tells Biden and his administration that we believe in saving lives.”

Biden, meanwhile, has put political muscle into Michigan — where the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, was on his 2020 vice presidential short list and won reelection easily in a 2022 race in which her support for abortion rights played a central role.

The president walked the picket line with the United Auto Workers union in Michigan in September during a strike against major auto manufacturers. “You deserve what you’ve earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid,” he said then. The UAW endorsed Biden in January.

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