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Trump, Haley to face off in Michigan

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Former President Donald Trump and former Ambassador Nikki Haley face off Tuesday in the Michigan presidential primary, the latest bout between the two remaining Republican contenders.

Real Clear Politics’ polling average has Trump leading Haley with 69% support to her roughly 17% support in Michigan. Nationally, Trump leads Haley in the RCP average 77-15.

Due to an unusual process in the Great Lake State, only 16 delegates will be awarded Tuesday with another 39 awarded on Saturday based on the preferences of representatives from Congressional districts via a caucus.

The Michigan matchup comes after Trump handily defeated Haley by about 20 points in her home state of South Carolina over the weekend. After the win, Haley made clear she is not dropping out.

“I’m an accountant. I know 40% isn’t 50%,” Haley wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday, referring to her part of the vote. “But I also know that 40% is not a small number. Americans deserve a choice in this election, and I have a duty to give it to them.”

Haley’s roughly 40% support outperformed the percentage pollsters predicted for Haley going into election day. Ahead of the vote Saturday, Real Clear Politics’ polling average had Haley at about 32% support.

Regardless, Trump touted his victory in South Carolina, where Haley once served as governor.

“Leading Nikki Haley in Michigan GOP Primary, tomorrow, 67% to 15%, RCP AVERAGE,” Trump wrote on TruthSocial. “When will Nikki realize that she is just a bad candidate?”

So far, Trump has 110 delegates to Haley’s 20 delegates. Trump has won every state so far, but some states, like Michigan, allow delegates to be split. A candidate needs 1,215 delegates to win the nomination.

The Michigan vote on Tuesday also features Democrats’ presidential primary with no additional caucus to worry about. President Joe Biden’s faces essentially no opposition at this point in the nomination battle. Biden won South Carolina Saturday with little difficulty.

Trump’s supporters have called on Haley to drop out so Republicans can focus on beating Biden.

“Nikki Haley is the Democrat candidate in the Republican primary,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., wrote on X.

“Nikki needs to drop out,” she added.

After Michigan, candidates have more states to compete in but will have to focus their attention on Super Tuesday, where more than a dozen states will vote for their primary candidate on March 5.

Haley and her campaign are trying to continue to make the case to voters and donors that she has a chance of beating Trump, who hold a large lead nationally and in the coming states.

One route to victory for Haley may include a conviction for Trump, who faces nearly 100 criminal charges across several states for his role in Jan. 6, his handling of classified documents, and more.

Now, Trump is balancing a busy court and legal schedule with campaigning. While Haley has not outright said she plans to step in if Trump is convicted, she has repeatedly attacked him for his legal issues.

“Trump is going to use the RNC as his own personal piggy bank to cover his constant legal bills,” Haley said on X going into the South Carolina vote. “There’s no way he can beat Joe Biden if he’s spending more time in the courtroom than on the campaign trail.”

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