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February 29, 2024

In this week’s Michigan GOP primary, Donald Trump beat Nikki Haley by his widest margin yet. With 94% of votes counted at this writing, Trump leads by 68.2% to 26.6%, a margin of well over 40 points. Three percent were uncommitted.

It will be interesting to hear how Haley, the media and the Never-Trumpers will spin this as a win. A couple of excuses I’ve already heard are that Trump didn’t do as well as some polls that showed him carrying up to 79% of the vote (that seems more a reflection on the polling.) And they’ll try to claim that this shows that over a quarter of Republicans want a candidate other than Trump. But something similar could be said in nearly any election. It doesn’t have to be unanimous to call it a win.

In 2016, Trump got only 36.5% of the Michigan primary vote, but he went on to win the nomination and the state. Heck, I got 0.2% of the Michigan primary vote, and I’d already dropped out of the race by then. I should’ve followed the Nikki Haley standard and claimed I was robbed.

As expected, Biden won the Democratic primary with 81.1%. Marianne Williamson got 3% and Dean Phillips took 2.7% (or as I call that, the “Anybody but Biden vote.”) But a big warning sign for Democrats is that over 13% of the vote went to “Uncommitted.” That was due to the large Arab-American population protesting Biden’s support of Israel by urging Democrats not to vote for him. They set a goal of 10,000 votes for “Uncommitted” to make their point, and at the moment, they have over 101,000.

There’s little chance of those voters turning to Trump, the best friend Israel ever had in the White House, but if it’s an indication of them being turned off enough by both candidates that they won’t vote at all, it could spell big trouble for Biden in this swing state. And what is he going to do about it? Appease his radical pro-Palestinian base by betraying Israel? That could be even worse for him politically.

This is what happens when you build political power on pandering to various identity groups. When two of those groups find their interests at odds, you have to do some pretty fancy tap-dancing to appease them both, and Joe can’t even walk across a stage without falling over.

Related: Spiritual guru Marianne Williamson thinks that Biden is so vulnerable, she announced that she’s “unsuspending” her campaign and getting back in the race. Make your own “raising the dead” joke.

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