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Friday, March 22, 2019

By John Whitesides

DETROIT (Reuters) – Republican front-runner Donald Trump racked up primary wins in the big prize of Michigan and in Mississippi on Tuesday, brushing off a week of blistering attacks from the party’s establishment and expanding his lead in the White House nominating race.

In the Democratic contest, Bernie Sanders stunned front-runner Hillary Clinton in a narrow Michigan primary upset, giving his upstart campaign new energy. Clinton won in Mississippi, but Sanders’ victory is seen as likely to ensure a prolonged fight to pick a candidate for November’s general election.

Trump’s convincing win in Michigan restored his outsider campaign’s momentum and increased the pressure on the party’s anti-Trump forces to find a way to stop the brash billionaire’s march to the nomination ahead of several key contests next week.

The 69-year-old New Yorker built his victories in Michigan, in the heart of the industrial Midwest, and Mississippi in the Deep South with broad appeal across many demographics. He won evangelical Christians, Republicans, independents, those who wanted an outsider and those who said they were angry about how the federal government is working, according to exit polls.

At a news conference afterward, Trump said he was drawing new voters to the Republican Party and the establishment figures who are resisting his campaign should save their money and focus on beating the Democrats in November.

“I hope Republicans will embrace it,” Trump said of his campaign. “We have something going that is so good, we should grab each other and unify the party.”

The results were a setback for rival John Kasich, governor of Ohio, who had hoped to pull off a surprise win in neighboring Michigan, and Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida who has become the establishment favorite but lagged badly in both Michigan and Mississippi and appeared unlikely to win delegates in either.

Trump said Rubio’s recent attacks on him had backfired.

“Hostility works for some people; it doesn’t work for everyone,” the real estate magnate said at a news conference in Jupiter, Florida.

Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas whose recent victories have positioned him as the prime alternative to the brash billionaire, won the party’s primary in Idaho.

But Trump suggested his rivals had little hope going forward, and took particular aim at Cruz.

‘A HARD TIME’

“Ted is going to have a hard time,” Trump said of Cruz. “He rarely beats me.”

Trump continues to enjoy a wide lead nationally in the Republican race, although Cruz has been climbing over the past week. Among those who identify as Republicans, Trump has settled in at about 40 percent support, according to a five-day rolling average ending on Tuesday in the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Cruz at 23 percent and Kasich at 11 percent have been on the rise, largely at Rubio’s expense.

The Michigan victory sets Trump up for a potentially decisive day of voting a week from Tuesday. On March 15, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina – like Michigan, states rich in the delegates who will select their party’s nominee at July’s Republican National Convention – cast ballots.

The Republican contests in Florida and Ohio award all the state’s delegates to the winner. If Trump could sweep those two states and pile up delegates elsewhere next week, it could knock home-state favorites Rubio and Kasich out of the race and make it tough for Cruz to catch him.

“The biggest takeaway is that the Republican establishment is in its death throes. The only remaining candidates are 100 percent anti-establishment,” said Mark Meckler, an early Tea Party movement founder.

Republicans were also voting on Tuesday in caucuses in Hawaii.

Many mainstream Republicans have been offended by Trump’s statements on Muslims, immigrants and women and alarmed by his threats to international trade deals. Trump said on Tuesday he has not assembled a foreign policy team, despite having said he would have one in place by February, and dismissed criticism his statements would be harmful to U.S. interests.

Anti-Trump Super PACS have spent millions of dollars on advertisements designed to attack Trump’s character in Florida, a state Rubio calls home and Trump calls a second home.

But Trump’s relentless anti-free trade rhetoric and promise to slap taxes on cars and parts shipped in from Mexico resonated in Michigan, which has lost tens of thousands of manufacturing and auto industry jobs.

“The solid victory in Michigan is based on his populist message about bringing industry back to this country,” Meckler said.

In the Democratic race, Sanders told reporters in Florida that the results in Michigan were a repudiation of the opinion polls and pundits who had written off his chances in the state. Polls had shown Clinton with a double-digit lead going into the primary.

The U.S. senator from Vermont, a democratic socialist, said the win showed his political revolution was “strong in every part of the country. Frankly, we believe our strongest areas are yet to come.”

Clinton’s campaign signaled ahead of Michigan that the race could be tight. Clinton, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea Clinton all campaigned in the state over the past few days trying to garner last-minute votes.

(Additional reporting by Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson, Alana Wise and Amanda Becker in Washington, and Ginger Gibson in Concord, North Carolina; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primary elections during a news conference held at his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

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40 responses to “Trump Takes Michigan In Repudiation Of Republican Establishment”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    The only hope for the GOP establishment at this point is to deny Trump the 1237 delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first round, and exert their influence in a brokered convention. The dilemma for them is the distinct probability of angering the angry white men who are voting for Trump in droves, and handing the 2016 election to Hillary.
    Trump is likely to win Florida, and get all its delegates. I would not be surprised if Kasich wins Ohio, and Cruz does well in North Carolina with the help of born again/evangelical Christians. If that happens, I can’t imagine Rubio staying in the race. If he drops out, the little support he enjoys is likely to shift to Cruz.

    • @HawaiianTater says:

      If Hillary is the nominee, she better hope the GOP tries to screw Trump out of the nomination, because that’s the only chance she has at winning the general.

      • I of John says:

        The establishment aint done yet. Currently the PACS are shoveling money at the problem in negative ads, but of course they will fall back to tbe convention for a grand screw-Trump scheme. This will bring it all to a hard boil.

        • @HawaiianTater says:

          Republicans have a front-runner who the establishment won’t support and Democrats have a front-runner who the liberal younger voters won’t support. Both parties are cracking up. You’ve got Liberal Progressives vs Conservative Democrats on one side and RWNJs vs extremist RWNJs on the other side. I’d be perfectly happy if both parties fell apart. The two party system failed us long ago.

          • dpaano says:

            Interesting…..I’m involved with the Young Democrats in the California State University system, and the voters on these campuses are overwhelmingly Democrat.

        • dpaano says:

          It’ll be fun to watch!!!

      • Jinmichigan says:

        Either way we end up with a Dem in the WH.

      • CrankyToo says:

        Your posts have been off-the-beam lately. I think you need to lighten up on the pakalolo, Dude.

    • Polana says:

      Dom, Rubicon will win in Florida, too many old feeble minded people will vote for him. Unfortunately even if Trump wins we are screwed no matter what.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I loved the reference to Rubicon, but Julius Caesar he is not.
        I am not so sure about Marco’s chances. He is doing well in South Florida, where he enjoys the support of most Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans, but he is doing poorly in North and parts of Central Florida. It is likely to be close, but I would not be a bit surprised if Trump pulls another victory and gets Florida’s 99 Republican delegates.

        • Polana says:

          At least Julius Ceasar dared and crossed the Rubicon, this RubiCon hardly ever crossed anybody. He flows with the goes.LOL.
          It’s sad that for the good of the country nobody is willing to cross the party and for the people by the people, who cares about the country, the world peace and the environment. We are on Titanic but most of the crew are know nothings, care about nothing but needs the people to keep them on the boat. Guess we will survive because we know how to swim the other might go down when they will realize that the promised life boats are notfor them but the captain and his minions. LOL

  2. The lucky one says:

    “He won evangelical Christians, Republicans, independents” This was a repub caucus, no independents were voting.

    • Jinmichigan says:

      Anyone could vote. You just checked a box for a Dem or a Repub ballot.

    • dpaano says:

      And, again, it’s amazing why people vote the way they do…..Cruz is big with evangelical Christians despite the fact that he hasn’t given to his church (or even attended) in years! I guess that doesn’t matter when you’re brain dead like most Republican voters!!! Just my opinion, of course.

      • Bill says:

        And Trump wins by saying Trust Me!!!!!!!

        • dpaano says:

          Personally, I wouldn’t trust him to take out my garbage! He’s “waffled” more on his stance than Mittens EVER did! The funniest thing is that the evangelical Christians are voting for him….this is a guy that hasn’t been to church in so long that he couldn’t tell the difference between a collection plate and a communion plate!!!

          • Bill says:

            I don’t trust him either, I’m just saying people are voting for someone who doesn’t explain anything.

      • The lucky one says:

        I don’t know about all republicans, some of them despise Trump as much as we do. They should because it’s their party he is destroying first. We ignore him at our peril but I really think there is small chance he will win the election. If they were candid i think most repubs would admit that they prefer a neocon dem like HRC over a wingnut megalomaniac like the Duck and will not vote for him. Maybe literacy or IQ tests would be a good idea, that would eliminate the majority of Trump supporters. Of course ending up with Cruz would be worse.

  3. FireBaron says:

    “Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas”, Oh, come on. Really? Does any writer really have to say that about Cruz? Unlike Whitesides, the rest of us do not live under rocks.

  4. Paul Bass says:

    Yesterday HRC won 87 delegates to Bernies 69 delegates, not counting ANY super delegates. She has 1221/2382 delegates needed. Bernie has 571. Even removing “super delegates” Bernies “path” to nomination is virtually impossible.
    Stop listening to the right wing media, HRC WILL be the nominee and the future President.

    • CrankyToo says:

      Concur.

    • @HawaiianTater says:

      Hillary has 745 delegates to Bernie’s 540 and there are still over 2700 up for grabs. If you think it would be virtually impossible for Bernie to win, then you aren’t very good at math. Hillary’s Southern states are almost done voting and you’ll be seeing Bernie rack up some huge wins out West at the end of the month. This race is far from over.

      You can stop it with the SDs too. They don’t vote until the convention and they won’t go against Bernie if he wins more pledged delegates because it would be political suicide to defy the will of the people.

      • Paul Bass says:

        Sorry, I’m quite good at math.
        Using RealClearPolitics data, in delegates only calculations, Bernie would need 54% of ALL remaining delegates to get the nomination. While YTD he has only garnered 42% of delegates. Virtually impossible for him to gain 12 percentage points over ALL the delegates. And that’s not even including the SDs.

        • @HawaiianTater says:

          The primaries have been front-loaded with conservative Southern states, where Hillary does better. The back half of the voting map is loaded with more liberal states, where Bernie does better. Hillary may yet still win but it’s not virtually impossible for Bernie to catch her.

          They said it was virtually impossible for Bernie to win Michigan and we see how that played out.

          • Paul Bass says:

            I hate to even post, because I really agree with you 99%, but it looks exactly like what Obama did to HRC in 2008. Obama played a 50 state strategy, while HRC played to big states. And the 50 state strategy won. (I know, vastly different candidates, but stay with me..). HRC has been playing to 50 states. It will be VERY hard for Bernie to get the nod, proportionality is beginning to work against him. Even his “Big” win yesterday yielded him 18 FEWER delegates than HRC. You can’t win if you keep getting less delegates.

          • @HawaiianTater says:

            Difficult, yes. Virtually impossible, no. The “big” win yesterday wasn’t about delegates. It was about overcoming such a huge deficit in the polls and showing his supporters that the fight is still on. It was also the biggest upset in primary polling history. I’m sure Hillary will expand her lead a little more on the 15th but he really needs to just survive the day. After that, we get a western swing and Bernie could quite possibly be heading into NY on an 8 state winning streak. If he does that and wins NY, it’s game on.

  5. dpaano says:

    What’s interesting is that despite Michigan’s crazy GOP governor, the citizens of this state still want to elect a Republican to run this country. If a Republican can’t run a state…..how in heck can he/she run a country? Do these people EVER learn???

    • Polana says:

      Minnesota did it again they chose another Bachmann – Cruz and he is gloating.
      From the whole bunch of oxymorons only Kasich seems sane enough to stay above the childish behavior. We are better than this I hope.

  6. dtgraham says:

    Thought I’d check out the stories on Bernie’s huge Michigan upset that wasn’t supposed to happen, and get the reactions. I get one article that appears to be buried near the bottom already, replaced by stories on cats, Trump steaks, and all things Trump. This bottomfeeder article talks only about Trump and the GOP in the headline, with a picture of Trump in the headline. The article content is 75% or more Trump and the GOP. Simply amazing.

    You wouldn’t people to hear too much about the big upset of Hillary last night in the National — don’t vote for Bernie Sanders — Memo. Can’t have that.

  7. Irishgrammy says:

    I don’t know if anyone watched The Donald’s victory speech last night or what he calls a “news conference”(which I call playing the media for free air time)…..most of the time I just turn the channel, but last night I made it through the entire joke, for a least a half hour or more, he repeated ad nauseam, his financial accomplishments, his “products” that bear his name and how “successful” they are and his growing “huge” poll numbers in up coming primary states. Along with another of his faux attacks on Hillary, and some nasty remarks about “lying Cruz”, and “little Rubio” just a mindless rambling word salad of “me, myself and I” ….he finally and mercifully then opened it up for questions from the press……….several times he actually insulted and bullied a member of the press who dared ask a question as he picked through those that were there, some he answered with his usual lies, exaggerations, bloviating BS, others he seemed to deliberately pick out to humiliate………one of the most childish, insanely rude, disturbingly obnoxious and bullying events I have ever witnessed and am sure there will more to come……. And yet this is now apparently considered “normal”…….AND there were his twisted devotees laughing and cheering this horrible behavior…..At this point I don’t know which of these I detest more, Trump or the idiots voting for him! This morning when Cokie Roberts questioned Trump about groups of young people attacking minorities, Latinos and African Americans with threats and violence evoking Trumps name along with threats of things “to come” when Trump “becomes president”, and still, Trump would not disavow this outrageous behavior, I just have to pinch myself at the vulgarity and depths to which so many in this country have fallen wallowing in hate, vicious attacks and pure racist stupidity and ignorance hanging on to every vicious utterance from this wretched, bloated beast, Donald J. Trump as he plays these poor slobs for the fools they are and uses their inner demons to accomplish his ultimate goal ……..am beyond concerned……

    • paulyz says:

      Don’t worry, Trump is supported by many Hispanics, Blacks, wealthy, poor, educated, uneducated: Millions of Americans, not just select groups like the Democrat-Socialist Party. Dr. Carson just endorced Mr. Trump as well. Get on the Trump Train!

      • Irishgrammy says:

        I don’t know what delusional island you live on, but there is absolutely no way in Hell I will ever accept Trump as anything other than what he is… a racist, bigoted mind-screwing, lying bloviating jackass. He is an embarrassment to humanity and to what this country has tried for centuries to finally represent and is proving almost impossible to achieve! Just remember it is ONLY the Republicans, a handful of Latinos, (snicker,snicker) a meager number of Blacks(even funnier) and mostly a bunch of angry, unfulfilled, miserable white, some rich, mostly poorer uneducated people who spend their time passing blame around to the “others” of this country they REFUSE to accept, acknowledge, or respect, desperately avoiding looking at themselves for their own failures in life that are presently voting for this imbecile Trump, this supremely manipulating liar!!! In the general election he will loose by a landslide and YOUR TRUMP TRAIN will appropriately and finally fly off the tracks, if there is a God in heaven!

        • paulyz says:

          BUT, Millions of voters saw clearly the hateful, racust, violent, leftist behavior of you Socialists, and the Bernie supporters as well. Thanks for increasing support for Trump, who wants prosperity for everyone.

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