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Biden, Trump win Michigan. Can the media wake me when the general election starts?

As the presidential primary polls closed in Michigan, I again felt like a young(ish) Nostradamus.

As with every primary state thus far, I had foreseen the outcome: Joe Biden was the choice of Democrats and Donald Trump was the choice of Republicans.

BEHOLD MY POWERS OF PRECOGNITION!

Biden wins Michigan primary ... because he's going to be nominee

It’s amazing I haven’t managed to win the Powerball, but it’s even more amazing that news organizations large and small continue to treat the presidential primary season as if the outcome isn’t a long-ago foregone conclusion.

Biden’s going to win. Trump’s going to win. The only things that could change that result would be one of the two older dudes having a sudden health problem, or the more indicted of the two older dudes getting convicted. (If we’re being honest, that last bit likely wouldn't change a thing, as Republicans now seem to equate criminality with presidential street cred.)

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, Jan. 19, 2024.
This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, Jan. 19, 2024.

So while Nikki Haley continues her admirably Quixotic role in the GOP primary, and while a small-but-noisy number of liberals continue to daydream about Biden being replaced with a youthful human vessel that holds the essence pure progressivism, I’ve got news for everyone: nope.

The general election will be Trump vs. Biden. Watching these primaries unfold is like re-watching a Super Bowl: You can pretend there’s drama, but you still know how it’s going to end.

Media coverage might make you think there's drama in primary race. But ...

That desire for drama – for something to draw readers to news sites and eyeballs to TV screens – has created a narrative that the 2024 presidential primary race wasn’t over before it began.

Remember the days of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis being the ascendant conservative who would save the Republican Party from Trump? That was never going to happen, and it certainly didn’t.

Nikki Haley supporters rally for the Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor after her loss in the state's GOP primary Saturday.
Nikki Haley supporters rally for the Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor after her loss in the state's GOP primary Saturday.

How many words have been written, how many pundits' platitudes have been spit, about the Democrats finding some mythical uber-candidate to supplant the incumbent Biden? Social media sites extruded “He’s too old and nobody wants him!” posts like links at a sausage factory.

And while a relatively small subset of Michigan voters tried to make a statement via an “uncommitted” vote Tuesday night, Biden is winning state after state after state by the margins expected from a strong incumbent with a high approval rating in his own party.

Nikki Haley dominates Biden in polls. Why are Republican primary voters so stuck on Trump?

A small number saying they don't want these candidates vs. a large number voting for them

I don’t doubt many Americans would love to have younger, more diverse (at least on the Democratic side) presidential candidates to choose from. In an ideal world, I would, too.

We don’t live in an ideal world. We live in the real one. And in the real world, since long before the primaries began, it has been abundantly clear the 2024 presidential election will again pit Biden against Trump.

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You can cite polling and holler “NOBODY WANTS THIS!” until you’re blue in the face, but it’s clear from the fact that Biden and Trump are both winning convincingly that more than enough people do want this.

That’s not speculation, it’s math.

As reality shows go, the presidential primary is a snoozer

Republicans embarrassed by the blabbering, trial-distracted mess that is Trump can keep believing something will derail him and Haley will win the nomination.

Democrats mad that Biden doesn’t meet some liberal purity test or has too many years on him can keep believing California Gov. Gavin Newsom or Michelle Obama or a Benjamin-Buttoned Bernie Sanders will magically ascend.

Sorry, Democrats, former First Lady Michelle Obama isn't coming to the rescue.
Sorry, Democrats, former First Lady Michelle Obama isn't coming to the rescue.

And I get it. We’re human. We live for a narrative, for a little dramatic tension to spice up our news feeds. It’s politics as a reality show.

But – spoiler alert – I’ve seen the season finale. Biden and Trump win their respective primaries. Try as you might, you will not be entertained.

My advice is this: Accept the outcome and find another show to binge until the general election starts.

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, Biden win Michigan. Why act surprised? Voters clearly want this