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Friday April 19, 2024

Trump wins Missouri Republican caucus, dominates returns in Michigan

Michigan will be fiercely fought in November’s general election, a likely rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden, a Democrat

By REUTERS
March 03, 2024
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign event at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 2, 2024. — AFP
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign event at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 2, 2024. — AFP

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan: Donald Trump won the Missouri Republican caucuses on Saturday and was dominating in Michigan’s nominating contest, which was being held amid simmering internal turmoil in the key battleground state.

The Associated Press called the Missouri race for Trump as votes were still being tallied but showed the former U.S. president far ahead of Nikki Haley, his last remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

In Michigan, Trump had trounced Haley in the 12 districts reporting caucus results, according to a tally reported by the state Republican Party. Only one district had not yet completed its vote.

Michigan will be fiercely fought in November’s general election, a likely rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

More than 1,000 party insiders participated in the presidential caucus in the western Michigan city of Grand Rapids, where they were choosing delegates for Trump or former U.N. Ambassador Haley for the party’s national nominating convention in July.

Republicans were also holding caucuses in Idaho on Saturday, one of the final contests for Haley to alter the course of the race prior to Super Tuesday on March 5, the biggest day in the primaries, when 15 states and one territory will vote.

With victories in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, South Carolina and now Missouri under his belt, Trump is far and away the frontrunner in the race, with Haley hanging on thanks to support from donors keen for an alternative to the former president.

For this election cycle, Michigan Republicans devised a hybrid nominating system, split between a primary and a caucus.

At one of the 13 caucus meetings, the participants - knowing Trump would win easily - decided to save time by simply asking anyone who backed Haley to stand up. In a room of 185 voting delegates, 25-year-old Carter Houtman was the only person who rose to his feet.

The contest in Michigan on Saturday held the potential for confusion. Internal turmoil has been percolating in the party for months, pitting backers of Michigan’s former Republican Party chair, Kristina Karamo, against the faction of party members who voted to oust her on Jan. 6, and installed Pete Hoekstra as chair.

At the convention, precinct delegates split into 13 different caucuses, one for each of the state’s congressional districts. If a candidate wins a majority of votes in a caucus they take all three of its delegates, for a maximum total of 39.