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Michigan 2024 primary results: Joe Biden wins the Dem ticket

Joe Biden
(Jonah Elkowitz /
  • President Joe Biden won Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary, the Associated Press projects
  • Biden had few rivals heading into primary cycle, but his stance on Israel-Hamas war prompted many Democratic voters to cast “uncommitted” ballots
  • Former President Donald Trump also ahead, 2024 Biden-Trump rematch likely

President Joe Biden has won Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary, moving him one step closer to the party’s formal nomination and a likely rematch with former President Donald Trump this fall.

As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, Biden was winning with 81.1% of the vote, with 98% of votes counted according to unofficial election results compiled by The Associated Press. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump beat ex-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with 68.2% of the vote to her 26.5%.

“Four years ago, it was Michigan’s diverse coalition that came together to reject Donald Trump’s MAGA extremism and sent me and Kamala to the White House,” Biden said in a statement. “This fight for our freedoms, for working families, and for Democracy is going to take all of us coming together. I know that we will.”

As polls closed, Biden’s allies characterized Tuesday’s election as a critical first step to protecting Democratic gains in Michigan, where all three statewide elected offices and the legislative majority are currently led by Democrats. 


U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said during a virtual call hosted by the Michigan Democratic Party that the stakes are high heading into the general election cycle, citing the erosion of federal abortion protections in Republican-led states and other policy areas where Biden and Trump diverge. 

“This is day one of an effort to make sure that we keep the progress going, that we protect our democracy, that we make sure that we continue to move forward in a way that values people,” she said. “This is your call to action.” 

Greg Guy, a voter in northeast Grand Rapids, said Tuesday that he’s voted for both Republicans and Democrats over the years, but said he’s trended Democratic lately because he “cannot stand Trump” and voted for Biden in the primary.

He said he sees Biden as a “good guy” and prefers him to Trump, but said he’s “afraid of how it could go” in a 2024 Trump-Biden rematch.

Greg Guy posing for a photo
Greg Guy, a voter in northeast Grand Rapids, said he voted for Biden because he is “a good guy” — and because he “cannot stand Trump.” (Bridge photo by Jonathan Oosting)

Ahead of the primary Biden secured a key endorsement from the United Auto Workers union and traveled to metro Detroit to seek support among blue-collar workers. 

Although author Marianne Williamson and Rep. Dean Phillips were on Michigan’s Democratic primary ticket, Biden’s main competition in Michigan was the “uncommitted” vote from those protesting the administration’s stance on the Israel-Hamas War in Gaza. 

Arab American leaders and allies, including U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, urged Democratic voters in Michigan to cast “uncommitted” ballots in support of an immediate ceasefire in Palestine, a stance the Biden administration has been hesitant to take. Michigan’s primary was the biggest test to date of how much impact the ongoing conflict has on presidential politics. 

More than 100,000 uncommitted ballots had been counted as of 7 a.m. with 98% of the vote counted , per unofficial results.

Hamtramck resident Pete Maley opted to join the uncommitted movement on Tuesday because he believes “Biden needs to be very heavy handed with Israel in a hurry” to curb the ongoing violence in the region. But he said his concerns with Biden’s foreign policy don’t outweigh his concerns about Trump returning to the White House. 

“In the fall, absolutely, if it’s Biden vs. Trump, I am going to vote for Biden,” he said. “I’m not going to stay home…Trump is the worst ever, and we can’t allow him to win.”  

The unrest could spell trouble for the Biden campaign in the general election cycle, as the president relied on high turnout among reliably Democratic and moderate voters to secure his 154,188-vote win over Trump in the 2020 election.

In a Monday interview with NBC News, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer acknowledged that “there’s a lot of pain” among Michigan’s Arab American, Palestinian, Muslim and Jewish communities over the ongoing conflict, but said Biden’s agenda has generally benefited Michigan.

“I am advocating that people cast an affirmative vote for Joe Biden, because anything other than that makes it more likely that we see a second Trump term,” she told the outlet.

Some uncommitted voters Bridge Michigan spoke with at the polls said they’d remain uncommitted in November if nothing changes. 

Abbas Aboukhour posing for a photo
Abbas Aboukhour of Dearborn poses for a photo after casting an “uncommitted” ballot in the Democratic primary Tuesday. He said he’s prepared to cast another uncommitted ballot in November if Biden’s stance on the Israel-Hamas war doesn’t significantly shift. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)

“It’s going to be the same,” Dearborn resident Abbas Aboukhour said of the upcoming general election. “We have to give him a message that we do not agree.”

Tuesday’s election was the first year Michigan voters participated in an early primary — the date was moved up this year as an acknowledgment by national Democratic officials of Michigan’s status as a key swing state in the general election. It was also the first statewide test of new early voting options approved by voters in 2022.

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