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Trump Gets His Dominant Win Over Nikki Haley in Michigan

Sam Wolfe/Reuters
Sam Wolfe/Reuters

The most populous state to vote so far in 2024—and one of the most pivotal for the general election—is set to hand Donald Trump his biggest victory yet of the Republican primary.

The former president was declared the winner of Michigan’s primary election shortly after polls closed on Tuesday night, as he began building a substantial margin of victory over his only remaining GOP rival, Nikki Haley. While the official results will take days, Trump appeared to be headed to a roughly two-thirds victory in the GOP primary over Haley.

That means Trump is on track to win the majority of the 16 Republican convention delegates from Michigan that are up for grabs on Tuesday, inching him closer to claiming the nomination. But 39 of the state’s 55 delegates will be allocated at a state party convention on Saturday, which will unfold amid a strange and dramatic power struggle over the leadership of the Michigan GOP organization.

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Neither candidate spent much time in Michigan, whose primary was sandwiched between South Carolina’s contest last Saturday and the upcoming gauntlet of Super Tuesday next week, when 16 states and territories will hold elections.

In the lead up to Election Day, Trump held one rally in the state, an event that drew headlines mostly for his bitter, repeated complaining over the $464 million judgment in his New York civil fraud case. On Monday night, Haley rallied in Grand Rapids—part of a historically conservative region of the state that didn’t warm to the Trump-era GOP—where she predicted he would lose again in November if he were nominated.

The truncated Michigan campaign meant that Haley did not have much room to eat into Trump’s overwhelming polling advantage in the state—which was as great as 50 points in final surveys of the race. The former South Carolina governor invested heavily in closing the gap with Trump in her home state’s primary, turning a deficit of 30 to 40 points in some polls into a 20 point defeat on election night last Saturday.

At this point, it’s clear Haley has no viable path to defeating Trump, and with delegate-stocked states like California and Texas voting next Tuesday, the former president is closing in on mathematically clinching the GOP nomination.

But Haley has indicated she will remain in the race until at least Super Tuesday, ensuring she will have a meaningful share of delegates at the GOP convention in Milwaukee in July—a show of strength that could be valuable should Trump falter for another reason, or if Haley decides to run again in 2028.

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