Trump Wins Pennsylvania Primary, but Remains Haunted by Haley


Donald J. Trump and President Biden scored overwhelming primary victories in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, facing opponents who had long since dropped out of the race.

Mr. Trump appeared to take 83 percent of the vote against Nikki Haley, his former rival in the Republican primaries. Still, Ms. Haley won the votes of more than 155,000 Pennsylvanians across the state that is considered essential to victory in November, although she ended her campaign more than a month ago.

Ms. Haley, the former South Carolina governor, did not endorse Mr. Trump in exiting the race, and the Pennsylvania vote reflected his continuing difficulties in wooing her supporters and in fully winning over the Republican electorate. In G.O.P. primaries earlier this month in Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, Ms. Haley won small but significant protest votes — capturing at least 10 percent of the vote in each of the four states.

Mr. Trump has shown little interest in winning Ms. Haley’s endorsement and has made few attempts to reach out to her supporters. It remains unclear whether the former president’s decision to bypass any reconciliation with Ms. Haley will matter as November approaches.

“The risk for Donald Trump would be that people would not vote because they’re not happy,” Irma Fralic, a co-chair of Women for Nikki and a Pennsylvania resident, told The New York Times last month. “I think I speak for many people in that we’re extremely frustrated that we have Biden and Trump to pick from.”

On the Democratic side, Mr. Biden, who grew up in Scranton, Pa., took nearly 95 percent of the vote. Representative Dean Phillips, who was on the ballot but dropped out of the race last month, got about 5 percent of the vote.

The results suggest that Mr. Biden is on surer footing with the Democratic base in Pennsylvania compared with other battleground states, like Michigan, where the president has faced significant numbers of protest votes focusing on his handling of the war in Gaza.

Here are two other takeaways from the Pennsylvania primary.

Representative Summer Lee, a progressive first-term Democrat, fended off a moderate challenger who had opposed her criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza. While Mr. Biden has faced protest votes in a number of states, Ms. Lee’s race was one of the first down-ballot tests of where Democrats stand on the war.

Ms. Lee, a first-term progressive Democrat who represents a Pittsburgh-area district, was an early critic of Israel’s war in Gaza, where about 34,000 people have died since the conflict began six months ago. Ms. Lee’s stances against Israel’s military campaign drew a primary challenge from Bhavini Patel, a moderate Democrat who opposed Ms. Lee’s approach on the war.

But Ms. Lee emerged victorious, suggesting that public sentiment on the war, particularly among Democrats, has shifted significantly against Israel in the six months since the war began.

Pennsylvania’s long-awaited Senate matchup was officially set, as David McCormick and Senator Bob Casey won their uncontested primaries.

Mr. McCormick won an unopposed Republican primary for Senate in Pennsylvania, pitting him against Mr. Casey, the Democratic incumbent, in November. While Mr. McCormick had no rivals in the primary this time around, his victory represents something of a redemption arc after his defeat in his first Senate primary run in the state in 2022.

He is positioned with the best chance yet for Republicans to unseat Mr. Casey, an 18-year incumbent who has previously sailed to re-election. He defeated his previous Republican opponent in 2018 by 13 percentage points, and an analysis by the Cook Political Report rates the race as leaning toward the Democrats.

Mr. Trump helped sink Mr. McCormick’s first run when he backed a rival candidate, the celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz. In a race that hung on a knife’s edge, Mr. Trump’s backing of Dr. Oz, and his scorching attacks against Mr. McCormick, proved decisive — Dr. Oz eked out a victory by fewer than a thousand votes.

Mr. McCormick has earned the endorsement of Mr. Trump for the coming battle against Mr. Casey, and they will share adjoining places at the top of Pennsylvania’s ballot in November.

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