Donald Trump won the Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii primaries while his closest rival Ted Cruz took Idaho on Tuesday night. The real estate mogul is establishing himself as the lead candidate in the Republican race to the White House and his triumph on Tuesday attests to his widespread appeal. Meanwhile, the socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is struggling to make his case for the Democratic nomination for the upcoming November elections. Still, his victory in Michigan shows that he will continue to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination until the end.
Trump won in Michigan with 37% of the votes, in Mississippi with 47% and Hawaii with 42%. He has triumphed in the industrial belt in the north and prevailed in the religious south. His sardonic and populist rhetoric against the establishment, and his positions on the impact of economic globalization and immigration, have attracted voters across the nation.
A pattern emerged in the Democratic camp: Clinton tends to win in the south while the Vermont senator is favored in the north
His opponent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, won in Idaho, where he received 45% of the votes, and fell in second place in Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii, thus securing his position as the Republican alternative to Trump.
Meanwhile, a pattern emerged in the Democratic camp: Clinton tends to win in the south while the Vermont senator is favored in the north.
Hillary Clinton easily won in Mississippi with 83 percent of the votes, where she received the support of the majority of African American voters. But she faltered in Michigan, where Bernie Sanders took 50% of the polls. The former secretary of state accounted for 48%. Sanders, who leans further left than the former first lady, found support in states with a white majority that has been besieged by outsourced jobs and income disparities.
African American and Latino voters in the south are much more decisive than in the north. Next week will bring several primaries and caucuses in states where there are more white progressive voters.
With 13 primaries won, Clinton remains the frontrunner in the Democratic race and she has a comfortable lead over Sanders.
Michigan, the state that held the most delegates on Tuesday, favored Trump and Sanders. Both candidates have proposed more protectionist measures to shield areas such as Michigan, where a large white working class has seen their jobs outsourced to other countries.
Trump says his success thus far shows that he could “easily” win the November elections
Voter participation in Michigan primaries increased by 50% compared to four years ago. Trump, a candidate who has no political experience, attributes this increase to his ability to attract both Democratic and independent voters. And he took the opportunity to reach out to Republican leaders who are horrified by his continual rise and determined to stop it.
During a press conference at one of his golf clubs in Florida, Trump presented himself as the best choice for Republicans. He said his success thus far shows that he could “easily” win the November elections after Democratic President Barack Obama has been in office for eight years.
Tuesday was not a good night for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, the two Republican contenders who hope to appeal to moderate Republicans. Michigan was an acid test for Ohio Governor John Kasich. A good result in Ohio would have been a preview of his possible win in his home state next week. But he came in third place, almost tied with Cruz.
Marco Rubio took third place in Hawaii and Idaho and came in last in Michigan and Mississippi. The Florida primary next week may be his last chance to argue for his spot in this contest. So far, Rubio has only won two states, Minnesota and Puerto Rico.
Cruz, a staunch classic conservative, has won in seven states. His second-place standing is helping to dispel doubts about his appeal beyond the religious base, especially as both parties prepare for primaries in less conservative states. Donald Trump is still the favorite there too.
English version by Dyane Jean Francois.