Michigan voters took to the polls and the Democratic race came down to a photo finish, but Bernie Sanders won by a slim margin. Donald Trump won the Republican primary.
Typically by the time primaries happen in Michigan, there has been a presumptive nominee chosen, but that’s not the case in this year’s cycle. Because of this, many Michigan news outlets including the Detroit Free Press reported that voter turnout was high enough in some areas that clerks ran out of ballots.
It took until more than 90 percent of the precincts reported before the Associated Press projected that Sanders had won Michigan. Approximately 2 percentage points separated the the Vermont senator and opponent Hillary Clinton.
Sanders, who held a rally last Friday at Grand Valley State University, won most of the counties in the state, especially those with major universities. His campaign has been incredibly popular with younger, college-aged voters.
Sanders won Ingham county (Michigan State) by 11 points, Washtenaw (University of Michigan) by 13 points, Kalamazoo (Western Michigan) by 12 points, Marquette (Northern Michigan) by 26 points, Isabella (Central Michigan) by 33 points and Ottawa (Grand Valley) by 29 points.
He also won Kent county by 27 points.
Sanders spoke to a small group of reporters about an hour before Michigan was called.
“The political revolution we’ve talked about is strong in all parts of this country,” Sanders said.
The counties where Clinton did well were primarily in the Detroit area and Flint, where the Clintons have historically done well due to large black populations.
Clinton spoke in Cleveland, where she was campaigning ahead of next week’s Ohio primary. She seemed to pivot away from her Democratic rival and toward the GOP and the general election.
“Running for president shouldn’t be about delivering insults, it should be about delivering results,” Clinton said.
On the Republican side, Trump won 21 of the 59 available delegates. Ohio Governor John Kasich, who was polling in fourth place a week ago, was in a statistical tie with Texas Senator Ted Cruz at around 24 percent each. Florida Senator Marco Rubio came in fourth and didn’t reach the 15 percent threshold to earn delegates.
At press time with 109 precincts reporting, Cruz won Kent County with 37 percent of the vote. Kasich and Trump were in a virtual tie with approximately 24 percent each.
Trump took to the stage in Jupiter, Florida, holding a press conference that sounded more like an infomercial for his products than a victory speech. He talked about such Trump brand products as Trump wine, Trump water, Trump steaks, Trump golf courses and the beleaguered Trump University.
When asked why Rubio had failed to do well, Trump blamed his rival’s attacks on him. Over the last week, Rubio ramped up attacks, sometimes very personal attacks, against the GOP frontrunner.
“Hostility works for some people, but it doesn’t work for others,” Trump said, implying that it works for him.
One reporter asked Trump about his foul language and the candidate said, “It’s stuff like that that people are tired of.”
Trump and Clinton both won Mississippi. Clinton won the state by over 65 points thanks in large part to black voters in the state. Republicans also voted in Idaho and Hawaii, but results were not available at press time.