Michigan Primary Puts Major Battleground State In Play For 2024

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On Tuesday, Michigan’s electorate stepped into polling booths to participate in the crucial state-run primary elections, instrumental in determining the 2024 presidential nominees for both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Detailed Hours and Time Zones

The state, adhering to predominantly Eastern Standard Time, welcomed voters from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Despite this, voters in four counties located in the Upper Peninsula adhered to the Central Time zone’s schedule.

Democratic Options and Primary Structure

On the Democratic side, incumbent President Biden faced opposition from Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and author Marianne Williamson. In a feature of the Democratic primary process, an “uncommitted” ballot option was also presented to voters, allowing them to indicate a preference for delegates not committed to a particular candidate.

Republican Choices and Delegates

In contrast, the Republican ballot listed former President Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as the remaining contenders in the race. However, votes could still be cast for candidates who had exited the race, such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Michigan put 16 delegates up for contention in the Republican primary.

Legislative Changes and National Compliance

This year, the Democrat-controlled Michigan legislature moved the primary ahead of its traditional schedule to align with directives from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). However, this adjustment necessitated the Republicans to devise a unique split-primary arrangement to avoid sanctions from the Republican National Committee (RNC), disagreeing with the rescheduled date.

Consequently, Republican primary ballots cast on Tuesday will be tallied alongside those from a separate primary slated for March 2. Following this, a state GOP convention in Detroit will confer, potentially distributing up to 39 additional delegates based on district outcomes—three delegates for each of Michigan’s 13 districts.