Trump Defeats Haley in Michigan, His Sixth Straight Victory


Former President Donald J. Trump won Michigan’s Republican presidential primary election on Tuesday, moving closer to a general election rematch against President Biden.

Mr. Biden easily won his own primary, though he faced a groundswell of opposition from voters who are protesting his staunch support for Israel and its military campaign in Gaza by casting ballots not for another candidate, but for “uncommitted.” The Associated Press called both contests as soon as final polls closed at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Mr. Trump’s victory over Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, extends an unbroken streak in the nominating contests. Michigan is his sixth straight triumph, and it is his second, after Nevada, in a state expected to be a crucial battleground come November.

“We win Michigan, we win the whole thing,” Mr. Trump told supporters at the Michigan G.O.P. watch party over the phone after the race was called, according to a transcript of the call provided by his campaign. He added that Tuesday’s results were “far greater than anticipated.”

As of 10:45 p.m. Eastern time, Mr. Trump had 67 percent of the vote to Ms. Haley’s 28 percent, while 3 percent had marked ballots for “uncommitted.” Mr. Trump said in a radio interview earlier in the day that he expected Ms. Haley would “lose like by 80 points.”

Mr. Trump and his team have been eager to look past the primary, citing his early-state victories as evidence that it is time for Ms. Haley to drop out.

The former president, who is facing 91 felony charges in four separate criminal cases, is also under time pressure as he looks to wrap up the nomination. His first criminal trial is scheduled to begin in Manhattan in late March.

During campaign stops in Michigan this week, Ms. Haley also focused heavily on the general election, arguing that she is by far the better candidate to take on Mr. Biden.

In a statement after the race was called, a spokeswoman for the Haley campaign, Olivia Perez-Cubas, said the share of Republican voters who did not back Mr. Trump was a “flashing warning sign for Trump in November.” She also pointed out that since Mr. Trump was elected to the White House in 2016, Republicans had lost the Michigan governor’s mansion as well as both chambers of the state Legislature to Democrats.

Ms. Haley, who has continued to court donors and reported raising $16.5 million in January, has said she will keep competing through the Super Tuesday contests on March 5. So far, she has picked up delegates in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, but she is trailing Mr. Trump significantly in the overall total.

Ms. Haley will pick up delegates in Michigan. Sixteen of the state’s 55 delegates were up for grabs on Tuesday, and those will be allocated proportionally based on vote totals. Ms. Haley was awarded at least two, according to The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

But Mr. Trump is the heavy favorite to receive the majority of the remaining 39 delegates, as he remains hugely popular among Republicans. Those will be allocated on Saturday, when rival factions of the Michigan Republican Party are set to hold dueling conventions after a monthslong leadership fight that has thrown the state party into chaos.

Both sides are led by people loyal to Mr. Trump, though state Republicans appear split between the factions.

Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and a onetime ambassador to the Netherlands under Mr. Trump, has been formally recognized by the Republican National Committee as the state party’s chair. Mr. Trump endorsed him for the post after a number of state party officials voted last month to remove Kristina Karamo, a 2020 election denier who took control last year, from the position.

Ms. Karamo, one of several far-right activists who rose to the top of state Republican parties as they supported Mr. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, has refused to accept her ouster. She has argued that both the vote to remove her, and Mr. Hoekstra’s election, were illegitimate.

A judge on Tuesday essentially ordered Ms. Karamo to stand aside, ruling that she had been legitimately removed from her position and ordering her not to present herself as the state party’s leader or conduct business in the party’s name. But Ms. Karamo did not tell reporters whether she planned to abandon her plans for a convention on Saturday.

Mr. Trump did not campaign heavily in Michigan before its primary, holding just one rally here this year. But the state is expected to be critical in November after swinging in the last two elections.

Mr. Trump won the state by nearly 11,000 votes in 2016, helping him defeat Hillary Clinton and win the White House. Four years later, Mr. Biden beat him in Michigan by a more comfortable 154,000 votes — and in 2022, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has strongly supported Mr. Biden, cruised to re-election as Democrats seized control of the Legislature.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Biden briefly celebrated his victory in Michigan’s primary, then almost immediately turned to attacking Mr. Trump in a preview of their general-election fight.

Mr. Trump had made Michigan a target in his effort to overturn his 2020 election loss, and the Michigan attorney general last year brought felony charges against 16 Republicans for falsely portraying themselves as electors from the state. Those Republicans were part of a larger plan to create false slates of electors pledged to Mr. Trump in battleground states he lost to Mr. Biden.

Campaigning once more for the White House this year, the former president has continued to promote the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Nicholas Nehamas contributed reporting.

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