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Michigan primary highlights: Trump and Biden take home wins as Haley loses out

Critics of Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war urged Michigan Democrats to vote "uncommitted" in today's primary.

Here's the latest on the Michigan primary:

  • Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden won the Michigan primaries, NBC News projects.
  • Biden faced opposition from critics of his handling of the Israel-Hamas war, who urged Democrats to cast protest votes for "uncommitted."
  • After having completed a sweep of the early voting states, Trump is looking to continue his march to the GOP nomination over former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
  • On the Democratic side, 117 delegates were up for grabs in the Michigan primary. For Republicans, today's contest will determine how 16 out of 55 delegates will be awarded. The 39 others will be decided Saturday at a state party convention.

Michigan's top election official expects expedited results

DETROIT — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said tonight that voters can expect election results "relatively sooner than in the past" because of a new state law.

The statute "enables clerks to begin processing absentee ballots that were sent before today to begin processing them earlier than today,” Benson said.

She also noted that nearly 2,000 Michiganders registered to vote today.

Asked by a reporter about voters who complained that the choice between using a Republican or a Democratic ballot was too public at polling locations, Benson said voters "who were concerned about that procedure had the option of voting early from home and doing so in that in the privacy of their own home.”

Listen to Michigan protest movement says: 'Count us out, Joe.'

The #ListenToMichigan group that campaigned for Michiganders to vote "uncommitted" in the state's Democratic primary claimed victory and praised today's results.

The group said on X that it "emerged victorious tonight and massively surpassed our expectations."

"President Biden has funded the bombs falling on the family members of people who live right here in Michigan. People who voted for him, who now feel completely betrayed," the group said. "President Biden, listen to Michigan. Count us out, Joe."

Biden doesn't directly acknowledge protest vote in Michigan statement

Biden thanked "every Michigander who made their voice heard today" in a statement tonight after his projected primary win.

He did not directly acknowledge the "uncommitted" protest campaign against him, though he said that "exercising the right to vote and participating in our democracy is what makes America great."

Biden added that Michigan's votes in 2020 helped send him to the White House while noting that "there is so much left to do."

"This fight for our freedoms, for working families, and for Democracy is going to take all of us coming together," he said in the statement. "I know that we will."

DNC chair Jaime Harrison released a statement with a similar sentiment, writing that "Michigan reflects the rich diversity of the Democratic coalition and of our country."

He added that the reflection was a reason the party moved up Michigan's primary date, "so that the voters in the Great Lakes State could make their voices heard early."

Activists look to replicate Michigan 'uncommitted' movement

Organizers at the Dearborn Uncommitted watch party said tonight that likeminded activists in other states have been reaching out to leaders in Michigan to ask how they can replicate the uncommitted results in their states.

Other states don’t have the large bloc of Arab voters that Michigan does, but Michigan also saw strong uncommitted support from young voters.

Biden to visit Teamsters headquarters as the union weighs its 2024 endorsement

Biden will visit the Teamsters headquarters on March 12 as the influential labor union weighs its presidential endorsement.

Biden will also participate in a roundtable with rank-and-file members and meet with the union’s leadership, the union announced today, before results of the Michigan primary were announced.

“We realize that President Biden’s time is limited and we appreciate that he is making it a priority to meet with Teamsters,” General President Sean O’Brien said in a news release. “Our rank-and-file members and leadership are eager to have this conversation about the future of our country and the commitments that working people need from our next President.”

A Biden campaign spokesperson confirmed the coming meeting to NBC News.

The Teamsters boast 1.3 million members.

Read the full story here.

Haley campaign tries to frame Michigan primary loss as bad news for Trump

The Haley campaign is characterizing a projected double-digit loss to Trump in Michigan as a bad sign for the former president, pointing to the roughly one-third of Republican primary voters who cast ballots for someone other than Trump.

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

Trump calls into Michigan watch party

Trump called into the Michigan GOP watch party in Grand Rapids tonight to thank his supporters for his projected win.

The former president said that his victory was "far greater than anticipated" and that Election Day, in November, "cannot come fast enough."

He added that he would be doing lots of campaigning in the battleground state in the coming months.

'You impeached Trump!': Michigan GOP Senate candidate interrupted during watch party

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Former Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat in Michigan, was interrupted during public remarks at an election night watch party for having voted to impeach Trump.

While he was speaking, a member of the crowd shouted, “You impeached Trump!”

Meijer responded by saying, "I did, because Jan. 6th was bad. And you know what? I think we would’ve had better victories in November of ’22 had we not [gone down] that path."

When the man tried to interrupt him again, Meijer said they can disagree as long as they are committed to supporting the Republican presidential nominee in November, saying of Democrats, “We cannot let them be the victors in this civil war.”

In 2021, Meijer was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The following year, Meijer was defeated in the primary by Trump-endorsed candidate John Gibbs, who lost to Democrat Hillary Scholten in the general election.

Michigan Republican party chair calls Trump the 'presumptive nominee'

Michigan Republican Party chair Pete Hoekstra called Trump the “presumptive nominee” at a watch party tonight in Grand Rapids, adding he that relayed that message to Haley, as well.

Hoekstra said he “would prefer that she pull out of the race and we unite,” though he added he respects Haley's decision to stay in “for a couple of more weeks or whatever.”

In response to a question from NBC News about whether he would support the Republican National Committee’s paying Trump’s legal bills, Hoekstra dodged the question at first but then seemed to indicate that to him it would depend on the type of legal fees.

“Some that may be politically motivated attacks, some that may be more business-related,” he said. “Those are all things that we’ve got to work through.”

Democratic mayor in Michigan criticizes Biden over 'temporary cease-fire' remark

Abdullah Hammoud, the Democratic mayor of Dearborn, criticized Biden tonight over his remarks about a potential temporary cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

"The first and most immediate thing you need to do is step to the podium and not call for a temporary cease-fire, to stop using language such as 'humanitarian pauses,' which is just disrespectful and dehumanizing, and once and for all come out and say, 'We demand the end of the killing of innocent men, women and children, and that begins with a permanent and lasting cease-fire,'" Hammoud told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on “All In.”

Hammoud has been a leading voice in the Listen to Michigan campaign to vote "uncommitted" in today's Democratic primary.

“I believe in holding our elected officials accountable, even if we belong to the same party. And that’s the message that we’re trying to send: We want a president who does not support a genocide,” Hammoud said.

Joe Biden wins Michigan Democratic primary

NBC News projects that Joe Biden has won the Michigan Democratic primary, securing at least 74 delegates.

See the latest results here.

Joe Biden wins Michigan Democratic primary

Donald Trump and Joe Biden win Michigan primaries

Trump and Biden have both secured victories in the Michigan primaries, continuing them on the path to a general election matchup.

Judge rules against Kristina Karamo in messy Michigan GOP leadership dispute

A Michigan court has thwarted Kristina Karamo’s efforts to remain in control of the state Republican Party, issuing a temporary injunction today that bars her from conducting party business.

Kent County Circuit Judge J. Joseph Rossi issued the decision hours before polls closed in the state’s presidential primary and days ahead of a Michigan GOP convention that will determine how delegates for this summer’s Republican National Convention are allocated.

Rossi’s order also could end a long dispute between Karamo, who was ousted as chair in a vote by party insiders last month, and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who had been selected as her replacement. The sides have been on a collision course that could culminate in a crisis Saturday if Karamo goes forward with plans to host a rival convention.

Read the full story here.

Pete Hoekstra, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, acknowledged the ruling to reporters at an election night watch party in Grand Rapids.

“It’s now over,” Hoekstra said this evening. He said he hasn’t heard from Karamo, but that he has heard she indicated that she will abide by the court order.

If she doesn’t, Hoekstra said, “We will go back to court and hold her in contempt. She’s got the ruling. It’s very clear.”

Final polls in Michigan closing at 9 p.m. ET

Most polls in the state closed at 8 p.m. ET, but the final polls are set to close at 9 p.m.

The deadline for to return mail ballots was also 8 p.m.

Michigan voters say access to abortion outweighs their personal opposition

WARREN, Mich. — Two voters in Michigan who cast primary ballots today told NBC News that while they're opposed to abortion, they still think access is necessary.

Dave Schultz, who said he voted for Haley to “stop Donald Trump,” said he is personally against the procedure but believes women should have access.

“I’m a faithful Catholic and against abortion and things like that,” he said. “But I got to think of what’s best for everybody.”

He added, “God gave us free will and free choice, and there are situations that could impact a certain person’s life.”

Charlotte Mack, 63, who said she voted for Biden, said a top issue she thinks about when she votes is “being able to let women make their own decisions about their bodies even though I don’t condone that.”

Mack said she is personally anti-abortion “because, in my opinion, it is a life,” but she added that “under certain circumstances, sometimes it has to be done.”

“It’s still our bodies, and we should be able to make our own decisions as far as when it comes to abortions and so forth and so forth,” she said.

'Uncommitted' vote tally could exceed 100K, Michigan Democrat says

DEARBORN, Mich. — A Michigan Democratic source told NBC News about projecting an “Uncommitted” vote tonight that could surpass 100,000 votes, far beyond what the “Listen to Michigan” campaign organizers have set as their expectation.

The local Democratic official, who supports Biden, said that the projection is based on information from the voter file, public absentee ballot information and partisan models — and that it is not exit polling.

The source said such a result could translate to 10% to 12% of the Democratic votes cast here today. While significant, the source noted, it would mirror the result — on a percentage basis — from the Democratic primary in 2012, when Barack Obama was also largely unopposed.

The source cited particularly strong turnout for “Uncommitted” not just in Dearborn, but also in Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan. The source expected a sizable enough vote in the 12th Congressional District to translate into delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

The source said that if the projections bear out, it will point to the need for Biden’s campaign to ramp up its focus in November on issues like reproductive rights, which was a proven vote-getter for Democrats here in the 2022 midterms.

NBC News has reported on the expectations game by both "Uncommitted" backers and the Biden campaign, which has noted that 20,000 votes has been the norm in the last several contests.

In 2020, “Uncommitted” earned more than 4% of the vote in the GOP primary, in which Trump was largely unopposed.

The same source said the data also showed that voters backing Haley in the Republican primary today reflects a strong Trump protest vote that the source sees as likely Biden voters in November — especially based on turnout in Kent and Oakland counties, among voters they see as having supported Biden in 2020 and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her successful 2022 re-election campaign.

Haley campaign official sets low bar for 'significant' showing in Michigan

Ali Vitali

Alex Rhoades

Ali Vitali and Alex Rhoades

In the lead-up to results out of Michigan, a Haley campaign official suggested that if she gets garners just 10% of the Republican vote today, it will signal there’s an “appetite for Trump alternative within the GOP.”

The official, Olivia Perez-Cubas, drew comparisons to the “uncommitted” effort on the Democratic side, saying that “even 10% of votes going to ‘uncommitted’” will be “significant” and that the same metric should be used when gauging Haley’s performance.

As a point of comparison, Haley won just shy of 40% of the vote in the South Carolina Republican primary, to Trump’s nearly 60%. She also won 43% of the vote in New Hampshire, behind Trump's 54%.

The Haley campaign also argues that Trump has had years of campaigning in Michigan and that Haley has been “at this” for just two days in the state.

Obama-to-Trump voters in Michigan say the economy played a key role

WARREN, Mich. — Raymond Wynn, 39, is an auto mechanic for General Motors who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and then voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. He just cast his 2024 primary ballot for Trump.

Raymond Wynn.
Raymond Wynn.Emma Barnett / NBC News

Wynn told NBC News he was motivated to switch from a Democratic candidate to a Republican one because of the economy and “how the industries were doing.”

"Specifically, I work for the auto industry,” Wynn said, “so foreign trades with metal and goods and services, that was, like, my biggest thing.”

Deborah Gates, who also voted for Obama and then Trump, said she cast her ballot today for the former president. Gates told NBC News the reason she went from Obama to Trump was “the economy and just security of our country just overall.”

She said “the open border” and “the cost of living” was a factor in her decision to swing from Obama to Trump.

Both voters indicated they have greater faith in Trump than Biden on the economy, putting them in good company with poll respondents who have said the same.

Why Trump wins independents in polls while struggling with them in primaries

Steve Kornacki

Trump is winning his primaries handily and has a virtual lock on the Republican presidential nomination — but a common interpretation of the results says that he is also exhibiting profound weaknesses among independents that portend dire general election consequences.

But there’s a hitch. A look at general election polling reveals a completely different story among independent voters — and a dive into all the other data we have on the 2024 presidential race shows why Trump’s poor independent numbers in the primary and better performance in general election polls are completely consistent with each other. The short answer: These are two very different groups of voters.

Read the full story here.

Rep. Tlaib sends robocalls urging protest votes in Michigan

Ali Vitali

Zoë Richards and Ali Vitali

Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib sent robocalls to 87,000 people today in her home state of Michigan urging them to vote "uncommitted" in the primary.

According to a transcript, Tlaib called on voters to make the protest vote "to send a clear message to President Biden: Change course on Gaza, pursue peace, save lives, and win back the trust of the voting coalition who got him to the White House in 2020."

The calls were made in conjunction with the progressive political organizing group Our Revolution.

Biden has faced increased pressure from progressives to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. He said yesterday that he hopes there will be a temporary cease-fire at the start of Ramadan, which is set to begin March 10.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, was censured last year over her remarks and actions in response to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

Michigan has been ahead of the political curve lately

One thing to consider tonight as we wait to see how Biden fares against “uncommitted” in Michigan: The state over the last decade has had a way of predicting the political future.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in Michigan’s 2016 Democratic primary was a harbinger of Trump’s win there that fall  and a sign that the "blue wall" Midwest states that had favored Barack Obama were tilting the other way.

Gretchen Whitmer’s election as governor in 2018 signaled that Democrats were clawing their way back. In 2022, Michigan voters made their state one of the first to constitutionally protect abortion rights in the post-Roe v. Wade era. Whitmer cruised to a second term that year as Democrats won a so-called trifecta — control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government — for the first time since the 1980s.

But there’s one nagging worry for Michigan Democrats: Biden. Polls there have shown him slightly trailing Trump in the general election. The concerns involve issues of intense local interest, from challenges facing the auto industry to anger over Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Then there are the constant questions about Biden’s age. 

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a rising Democratic star in Michigan, spoke favorably of Biden in an interview last week with NBC News, while also acknowledging that the age factor is something “you can’t ignore.”

“It’s going to be a choice between an old man who makes very similar gaffes, who is a narcissist, who is frankly advocating for authoritarianism when he gets back the White House — or an older man who makes gaffes, who at his heart is a decent person and has surrounded himself with … the youngest, most diverse Cabinet we’ve ever seen,” McMorrow said of Trump and Biden.

“If I were him — and I’m not, but if I were, I would really draw that stark contrast,” McMorrow added, referring to Biden. “Donald Trump is somebody who has told people that ‘I alone can do this.’ And the contrast on the Democratic side is that we are a team. Michigan is a perfect example, being now a Democratic trifecta for the first time in 40 years, we are a success story that the president and the party can lean on to show what’s possible.”

No Labels launches TV ad pushing House GOP on border deal

No Labels, the political organization looking to mount a potential 2024 presidential ticket, is launching a new television ad across the country on Wednesday — but instead of targeting the presidential race, the group is pressing Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring up for a vote in the House a proposed bipartisan package that would provide funds for U.S. border security as well as financial aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. 

“Contact Speaker Johnson — tell him to allow a vote,” the ad’s narrator states about the proposed Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act.

A spokesperson for No Labels said the group is spending $750,000 to air the spot. It will also air in Washington, D.C.

Johnson has so far declined to bring the package up for a vote, nor has he brought to the House floor a separate Senate-passed $95 billion bill that would have provided the Israel and Ukraine aid.

The ad asserts that the bill addresses “America’s bipartisan checklist,” noting its funding for additional border security and aid to Ukraine and Israel. It features statements by members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, Reps. Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. The two members are co-sponsors of the package.

The ad states: “We can’t afford partisan gridlock or D.C. business as usual. The good news: There is a bipartisan group in Congress with a new plan that will put America’s resources right where they’re needed.”

Detroit man says he's voting 'uncommitted' because of Biden's age, not Israel-Hamas war

Marvell Miller, 67, says he voted "uncommitted today," not because he’s upset with the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, but because he feels the president is too old and inept.

“Biden is a little too old. Trump is too far-right extreme,” said Miller, who cited Biden flubbing his lines as to why he believes he’s too old for the presidency. He also cited Trump’s abortion policies and called them too extreme.

Marvell Miller, 67, is a Detroit voter who is voting "uncommitted" because he feels Biden is too old.
Marvell Miller, 67, is a Detroit voter who is voting "uncommitted" because he feels Biden is too old.Alex Tabet / NBC News

Miller said he believes people support Trump because of the entertainment value, not necessarily because of his policies. He also said the Israel-Hamas war has no bearing on his "uncommitted" vote; he’s just frustrated with the options at hand.

If Trump and Biden are the only options come November, Miller said he’ll vote "uncommitted" again.

Gallup Poll: Immigration tops list of Americans' concerns

The latest Gallup Poll shows immigration is now at the top of Americans' list of the most urgent problems facing the country — with inflation concerns receding. 

According to Gallup's survey, 28% of respondents named immigration as their top concern in February, compared with just 20% in the month prior, surpassing “the government” as the most-cited problem. 

Gallup's poll showed Republicans were largely responsible for the increase in concerns over immigration in February, with 57% of Republicans naming immigration as the top problem, up from 37% in January. Among independents, 22% cited immigration as the most important problem, up from 16% in January. There was no meaningful change among Democrats (9% in January and 10% in February).

Meanwhile, 11% of Americans said inflation was their top concern, down from 13% last month. That reflects other data showing the pace of price increases in the economy slowing. Inflation was the fourth most-cited concern in the monthly poll.

Concerns about the “economy in general” were the third most-cited problem, though the response rate was unchanged compared to last month at 12%.

Thirty-two percent of Americans said the economy is improving, the highest figure Gallup has measured since September 2021. Views on the economy remained deeply polarized by party, with Democrats having an economic confidence level of +24 compared with -63 among Republicans and -29 among independents.

Why we could be in for another Election Week in November

After the 2020 presidential election took days to call, many states reworked how they process mail ballots with the goal of delivering results faster — and cutting off oxygen for conspiracy theories that flourished as the country waited for results. 

Election officials are optimistic that the 2024 vote count will be smoother without the many challenges the pandemic election of 2020 posed to officials. But in the event of a close race, a handful of key battleground states could keep Americans waiting well beyond Election Day yet again to learn who will be president for the following four years.

Clerks in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — two of the most closely divided states in the 2020 election — still will not be able to process any mail ballots prior to Election Day, despite efforts of state lawmakers to change the rules. That means there could again be a massive pileup of absentee ballots to sort through in those states Nov. 5, along with the in-person vote. 

And in North Carolina, a battleground state that has leaned Republican at the presidential level, changes to the state’s voter ID law and early voting process could slow the count.

While longer waits for results are not a sign of problems, experts warn they can be spun that way — as Donald Trump and his allies did in 2020.

Read the full story here.

NBC News

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson assured reporters that primary voting in the state was “going smoothly” and answered a question on some Democrats potentially selecting “uncommitted” on their ballot.

Gaza conflict and candidates' ages spur protest votes in Michigan

+2

Gabe Gutierrez

Shaquille Brewster

Jillian Frankel, Gabe Gutierrez and Shaquille Brewster

At Dearborn High School in the Arab American enclave of Dearborn, Michigan, several voters told NBC News this morning that they voted “uncommitted” to send a message to the Biden administration. They expressed their frustration with the administration not calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

“We feel like he’s been telling us and acting like he’s hearing us, but I don’t believe he’s hearing us based on actions,” one voter told NBC News. 

In addition, some voters here who consider themselves independents said they cast their ballot this morning for Nikki Haley because they are concerned about the age of both Biden and Trump.

“They’re too old. We need a younger generation who have different ideas than the older generation,” another voter said.

Meanwhile, a sizable number of Haley voters in a suburb of Grand Rapids say they cast their ballots as a protest against Trump, with some of them considering themselves closer to the Democratic Party while others identify closer to independents or moderate Republicans.

GOP candidate Ryan Binkley suspends presidential campaign

Long-shot GOP presidential candidate Ryan Binkley suspended his campaign Tuesday morning and endorsed former President Donald Trump.

“I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States of America and offering my endorsement and unwavering support for President Trump,” Binkley announced on his X account.

Despite claiming to have visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties and pouring millions of dollars of personal money into his presidential bid, Binkley bows out of the race with 0 pledged delegates. The Texas pastor and businessman with no prior political experience ran on a platform focused on restoring America’s inner cities and strengthening public education.

But his message failed to resonate in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, encumbered by low name recognition.

The 4 key regions to watch in Michigan

Steve Kornacki

If you’re planning to follow along tonight as the results map lights up one county at a time, here are some key areas to keep an eye on.

Read the full story here.

Union households favor Biden, but by closer margin than in 2020

Mark Murray

Biden is besting Trump among union-household voters, according to merged data from the most recent national NBC News polls.

But Biden’s support from the key demographic group is down slightly from where it was in the 2020 election.

Biden and Trump have battled for union support, especially in battleground Michigan, with Biden joining a union picket line in September and Trump holding his own competing event speaking at a nonunion auto parts company in the state.

Read the full story here.