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2024 Election

Biden and Trump win Michigan primaries, despite US President suffering Gaza protest vote

Tens of thousands of Democrats in the swing state crucial to Biden’s reelection hopes ticked the “uncommitted” box.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden and former president Donald Trump have won the Michigan primaries, further solidifying the all-but-certain rematch between the two.

Defeating Minnesota representative Dean Phillips, his one significant opponent left in the Democratic primary, Biden was dealt a stinging rebuke over the Gaza conflict in an Arab American-led protest. 

Tens of thousands of Democrats in the swing state crucial to Biden’s reelection hopes ticked the “uncommitted” box as part of a push by the “Listen to Michigan” campaign to jolt the president into backing off from his support of Israel.

With almost two-thirds of polling stations still to report, the “uncommitted” share accounted for 50,000 votes, more than double the final totals in each of the last three election cycles.

Biden has released a statement thanking voters, touting his record on working for Michigan’s middle class and acknowledging that there was “much left to do” – but made no mention of the Gaza conflict and ignored the protest vote.

Listen to Michigan had set a modest goal of rallying 10,000 uncommitted voters in its aim to censure the president over US military funding for Israel, and to pressure him to call for an immediate ceasefire.

“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 campaign said in a statement claiming victory.


The Gaza conflict started when Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, resulting in the deaths of about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures.

However, concern has mounted amid the high civilian death toll in Israel’s retaliatory campaign, now at almost 30,000, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

The bloodshed has weakened Biden’s standing among Muslims and Arab Americans, a bloc crucial to his 2020 victory in Michigan over Trump.

The Midwestern state has the largest proportion of residents who identify as being of Middle Eastern or North African descent in the country, with most of the population concentrated around Detroit.

The protest, however, never threatened Biden’s easy march to the nomination, and his sole challenger Phillips, was trailing with under 3% support last night.


On the Republican side, US news networks projected Trump’s victory within seconds of the polls closing, although he has to wait until the weekend for official confirmation under a complex system splitting the contest over several voting days.

The former president has swept the early voting states and Michigan was never expected to interrupt his march to the nomination.

His sole remaining challenger, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, lost her home state of South Carolina to Trump over the weekend but has refused to quit.

She has vowed to continue her campaign through at least Super Tuesday on 5 March, pointing to a not-insignificant swath of Republican primary voters who have continued to support her despite Trump’s tightening grip.

She also outraised Trump’s primary campaign committee by almost $3 million in January. That indicates that some donors continue to look at Haley, despite her longshot prospects, as an alternative to Trump should his legal problems imperil his chances of becoming the nominee.

Includes reporting by Press Association and AFP 

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