Trump secures victories in Michigan and Missouri caucuses

Former US president Donald Trump decisively defeats Nikki Haley, advancing his lead in the GOP presidential nomination race ahead of the November election

Donald Trump solidifies his lead in the Republican presidential race with resounding wins in Michigan and Missouri. AP
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Former US president Donald Trump won the Republican caucuses in both Michigan and Missouri, decisively defeating Nikki Haley, his main competitor for the Republican presidential nomination.

These victories move Donald Trump closer to securing his party's nomination for the upcoming November election against President Joe Biden.

In Michigan, Mr Trump achieved about 98 per cent of the vote in the state's caucuses, held in Grand Rapids, with 1,575 votes to Haley's 36.

This win came from more than 1,600 party insiders participating in the process.

Mr Trump's performance in Missouri was similarly dominant, as confirmed by projections from the Associated Press.

His wins in these states add to earlier victories in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, the US Virgin Islands, and South Carolina, establishing him as the front-runner in the Republican primary race.

The Michigan Republican Party, facing a split between a primary and a caucus due to state rules, witnessed Mr Trump winning convincingly in both parts of the nominating process.

During one of the 13 caucus meetings, the overwhelming support for Mr Trump was highlighted when only one person, Carter Houtman, stood up to show support for Haley, indicating the minimal opposition within the party ranks.

“It was a little lonely,” Mr Houtman said, reflecting on his solitary show of support for Haley.

Despite his reservations about Mr Trump's post-election behaviour, Mr Houtman said: “I didn't like the way that Trump handled himself after the last election,” but he also mentioned his likely support for Mr Trump in the general election, emphasising the importance of standing up for one's convictions.

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The caucuses in Michigan also reflected the broader transformation of the Republican Party under Mr Trump's influence, with supporters noting a shift towards prioritising the concerns of the working class.

“Wherever he goes, whatever he does, he pays attention to, responds to, the average person,” said Dennis Milosch, a Donald Trump supporter, highlighting the former president's appeal.

The Michigan caucus took place against the backdrop of internal party disputes, with a recent power struggle culminating in the replacement of former chair Kristina Karamo with Pete Hoekstra, a Donald Trump supporter.

Despite the potential for confusion, Mr Trump's victory was clear, further solidifying his position in the primary race.

“There is not a philosophical divide or an issue divide,” Mr Hoekstra said.

“This is about getting the party ready to win in November … The focus is on beating Joe Biden.”

As the Republican primary season moves towards Super Tuesday, Trump's series of wins demonstrates his significant lead over Haley, highlighting the challenges she faces in gaining ground against the former president.

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Mr Trump's campaign continues with strong momentum, leaving little doubt about his dominance in the Republican primary contest.

Updated: March 06, 2024, 11:28 AM