US election 2024: Michigan shows: Biden vs. Trump will be a duel of the unwanted

There was a clear message in the primary election in Michigan: Neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump are exciting candidates for the presidential election in November.

Only five of 45 US states voted in the presidential primaries, but the decision on the candidate question has long been made. Joe Biden will face Donald Trump in November, it is the same duel for the White House as in 2020. Unsurprisingly, enthusiasm about the two old men is limited. Not only among the population, but also within the parties, as the primary election in Michigan has shown again.

“Donald Trump is pushing people out of the party”

“Donald Trump doesn’t bring anyone into the party, he pushes people out of the party,” said Nikki Haley about her victorious opponent on the evening of the primary election. She is a distant second among the Republicans, but still doesn’t want to give up. At least not before “Super Tuesday” on March 5th, when elections will take place in 15 states.

The 52-year-old Haley received almost 40 percent of the vote in the primary election in her home state of South Carolina a few days ago, now it will be between 27 and 30 percent. In doing so, she is rallying behind her the last conservatives who absolutely do not want to jump on the Trump bandwagon. Four years ago, Trump got 93 percent, which clearly proves Haley’s criticism.

None of this helps her within the party, and yet the numbers show that Donald Trump should no longer count on all conservative votes. What could be crucial given the presumably very close election outcome in November.

Joe Biden with “only” 80 percent approval

US President Joe Biden is experiencing a similar situation. He is also controversial in his democratic party; the 81-year-old appears too old and too active in public. In Michigan he got just 80 percent of the primary vote – that’s a clear result, but not something he could have expected as the incumbent head of state and the only serious candidate.

The only special feature of the otherwise pretty average state of Michigan is the relatively high proportion of Muslim Americans. They are actually regular voters for the Democrats, but are currently dissatisfied with Biden’s rather Israel-friendly Middle East policy. If the mood among them does not change, Biden could end up missing up to 100,000 voters.

The duel of the lesser evil

It is not unusual for incumbent presidents to no longer experience undivided enthusiasm in their second election campaign. Nor is it that the Republicans are slowly running out of steam in the third Trump presidential election campaign in eight years. In the foreseeable duel of Biden vs. Trump, the election-deciding Michigan is ahead of the incumbent president – in some cases even significantly – according to Ex polls.

But the primary election in Michigan showed one thing above all: that no one is happy with the current collection of candidates. Although voter turnout was surprisingly high, there was relatively much headwind for Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Or maybe that’s exactly why. This corresponds to the general mood in the country. Around 52 percent of Americans think nothing of former President Trump and 55 percent think nothing of incumbent President Biden. November 5th will also be a duel of the lesser evil.

Sources: “The Hill”, RealClearpolitics, Fivethirtyeight, ABC News, 270towin, DPA, AFP, Reuters