Joe Biden faces protest vote, Republicans face split nominating process in Michigan primary

1 of 3 | President Joe Biden delivers remarks during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in the East Room of the White House on Friday. Biden and former President Donald Trump moved one step closer to a November rematch after winning the Michigan primaries on Tuesday. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 27 (UPI) — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are one step closer to a November rematch after winning the Michigan primaries on Tuesday.

While Biden was winning Michigan’s Democratic primary with 79% of the vote Tuesday night, more than 15% of the vote was going to “uncommitted” in protest by Arab Americans over his support for Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. If the “uncommitted” vote passes 15%, it will garner delegates to the Democratic convention.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., had called on voters to vote for the “uncommitted” option on the ballot in protest of Biden’s support for Israel and calling for a cease-fire in the Middle East. Tlaib is the only Palestinian-American ever elected to Congress.

“We don’t want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction,” Tlaib said in a video posted to X. “This is the way you can raise our voices. Right now we feel completely neglected and unseen by our government. If you want us to be louder then come here and vote uncommitted.”

Another 2.7% of the Democratic vote in Michigan was going to Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., who is the only candidate still campaigning against Biden after author Marianne Williamson suspended her campaign.

Trump easily won Michigan’s Republican primary Tuesday night, soundly defeating former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Within 20 minutes of the polls closing, Trump had 67% of the vote compared to Haley who had 29%.

“We have a very simple task: We have to win on Nov. 5,” Trump told a Michigan GOP election night party after he was projected the winner. “We win Michigan, we win the whole thing.”

Haley has vowed to stay in the race, despite also losing her home state of South Carolina on Saturday, until at least next week’s Super Tuesday when 15 states hold their nominating contests.

On Tuesday night, Haley claimed Michigan’s results expose the weaknesses in Trump and Biden.

“Let this serve as another warning sign that what has happened in Michigan will continue to play out across the country,” Haley said.

In total, the Republican Party will seat 55 delegates from Michigan. Only 16 were on the line on Tuesday. The other 39 will not be awarded until Saturday’s state party convention.

This is because Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved Michigan’s presidential primary date last year, up from March to February.

The move created a conundrum for the Republican Party of Michigan. The Republican National Committee ruled that Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are the only states allowed to hold primaries or caucuses before March.

Democrats will award 117 delegates based on the share of votes a candidate receives on Tuesday. Biden has swept through the primary cycle so far, earning 96% of the votes in South Carolina earlier this month.

Michigan hosts open primaries, which means voters do not need to register with either party to vote. It also means Tuesday’s primary has no bearing on how they may vote in November.

Ingham County, Mich., is home to 212,269 registered voters. Barb Byrum, county clerk, told UPI that it has received 34,315 early and absentee votes. This represents about 16% voter participation.

“In March 2020 we had a competitive Democratic Primary and the turnout was 28.45%,” Byrum said in an email to UPI. “In recent elections, around 75% of ballots have been cast absentee. If that trend holds true, we should have 46,000 voters or about 21% turnout.”

Early voting began on Feb. 17 and ended on Sunday.

Bonnie Scheele, Grand Traverse County clerk, told UPI in an email that she expects 30% to 40% voter turnout, based on 2020 numbers. There are 82,514 registered voters in Grand Traverse County.

“That would be a pretty good turnout for a Presidential Primary,” Scheele wrote.

Read More

By admin

Leave a Reply