Super Tuesday election: Biden and Trump close for November rematch

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pres Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald TrumpBack then, they were pushing for coast-to-coast victories Super TuesdayBesides ensuring a November rematch and increasing pressure on the former president's last primary challenger, Nikki HaleyGet out of the Republican Party.

Biden and Trump won one each in Texas, Alabama, Colorado, Maine, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Biden also won the Democratic primaries in California, Utah, Vermont and Iowa.

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Haley won Vermont, but the former president carried other favorable states like Virginia and Maine — which have moderate voters similar to those who supported him in previous primaries.

By the end of this month, enough states won't have voted for either Trump or Biden to formally become their parties' presumptive nominees. But a big day in the primary ensured their rematch. Both Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, have faced questions about their age and continue to dominate their parties despite their broad lack of popularity among the general electorate.

The only contest one of them lost Tuesday was a Democratic caucus in American Samoa, a small U.S. territory in the South Pacific Ocean. Biden was there He was defeated by previously unknown candidate Jason Palmer40 to 51 votes.

Haley, who has argued that both Biden and Trump are too old to return to the White House, was watching the election results in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. His campaign website does not list any upcoming events. However, his aides insist the mood at his watch party is “upbeat”.

Meanwhile, Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was packed for the victory party, which featured hors d'oeuvres including empanadas and baked goods. Among those in attendance were staffers and supporters, including rapper Forgiato Blow and former North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorne. The crowd erupted as Fox News played on screens around the ballroom announcing the former president had won North Carolina's GOP primary.

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“They call it Super Tuesday for a reason,” Trump told a cheering crowd. He attacked Biden over the US-Mexico border and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Biden did not deliver a speech, instead warning that Tuesday's results left Americans with a clear choice and talking about his own accomplishments after defeating Trump.

“If Donald Trump returns to the White House, all this progress will be at risk,” Biden said. “He's driven by resentment and resentment, and he's focused on his own vengeance and revenge, not the American people.”

While much of the focus was on the presidential election, there were also important ballot contests. North Carolina's gubernatorial race has taken shape, with Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein in a tight race ahead of November.

California voters chose candidates vying to fill the Senate seat long held by Dianne Feinstein. In Los Angeles, a progressive prosecutor tried to fend off a serious re-election challenge in a race that could serve as a barometer of crime politics.

Despite the dominance of their parties by Biden and Trump, polls make clear that the broad electorate does not want this year's general election to resemble the 2020 contest. A new AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found A majority of Americans think neither Biden nor Trump There is mental acuity required for the job.

“They both failed to unify this country in my opinion,” said Brian Hadley, 66, of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The final days before Tuesday proved the unique nature of this year's campaign. Instead of attacking states that hold primaries, Biden and Trump held them Competing events last week at the US-Mexico borderEach is trying to gain an advantage in the increasingly fraught immigration debate.

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After the Supreme Court Ruled 9-0 Trump's return to primary ballots on Monday followed efforts to ban him for his role in helping spark Capital riotsTrump pointed out 91 criminal cases Against him to accuse Biden of arming the courts.

“Fight your own fight,” Trump said. “Don't use lawyers and judges to go after your opponent.”

Biden will deliver a State of the Union address on Thursday and then campaign in the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Yet the former president has already defeated more than a dozen major Republican challengers and now faces only Haley, his former UN ambassador. She maintained Strong fundraising He pointed at her First primary win over the weekend in Washington, DC, a Democratic-run city with a few registered Republicans. Haley was “crowned queen of the swamp,” Trump joked.

“We can do better than two 80-year-old candidates for president,” Haley said at a rally in suburban Houston on Monday.

Trump's victories, though dominant, have exposed vulnerabilities with influential constituencies, especially college towns like Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College or Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, as well as areas with more independents. . That includes Minnesota, where Trump did not host a Super Tuesday event in 2016.

Seth D. Benning, a conservative-leaning independent, voted for Haley on Tuesday morning in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, because he said the GOP “needs a course correction.” De Benning, 40, called her choice a vote of conscience and said she never voted for Trump because of concerns about his character and character.

In this photo composite, President Joe Biden, from left, speaks in Salt Lake City on Aug. 10, 2023, former President Donald Trump speaks in Las Vegas on July 8, 2023, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Republican presidential candidate, speaks.  On February 18, 2024, in Colombia, Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024 SC Biden and Trump are on the verge of winning their party's presidential nominations, setting up a historic rematch that many voters will not tolerate.  Haley's win in any match on Super Tuesday would cause an upset.  A Trump sweep would intensify pressure to leave the race.  (AP Photo)

In this photo composite, President Joe Biden, from left, speaks in Salt Lake City on Aug. 10, 2023, former President Donald Trump speaks in Las Vegas on July 8, 2023, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Republican presidential candidate, speaks. on Feb. 18, 2024, in Columbia, SC (AP Photo)

Still, a Haley victory in any Super Tuesday contest would cause an upset, and a Trump sweep would intensify pressure for her to drop out of the race.

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Biden has his own problems Low recognition ratings And Opinion polls suggest Many Americans, even a majority of Democrats, do not want to see the 81-year-old run again. of the President Easy Michigan primary win Last week was somewhat marred by a “noncommittal” campaign organized by activists who disapprove of the president's handling of Israel's war in Gaza.

Allies of the “noncommittal” movement pushed similar protest votes in other places with significant Muslim populations, including Minnesota, with its Somali American community. There, “undecided” received at least 38,000 votes on Tuesday.

“Joe Biden didn't do enough to get my vote, he didn't do enough to stop the war and stop the slaughter,” said Sarah Alfaham of the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington.

Biden is a very old president and Republicans are critical of any verbal slip he makes. His aides insist that once it becomes clear that either Trump or Biden will be re-elected in November, skeptical voters will turn out. Trump is now about the same age as Biden during the 2020 campaign, and he's exacerbated questions about his own fitness with recent flubs that have meant misrepresentation. He ran against Barack ObamaHe left the White House in 2017.

“I want to see the next generation step up and take on leadership roles,” said Susan Steele, 71, a Democrat who voted Tuesday for Biden in Portland, Maine.


Barrow reports from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Steve LeBlanc in Boston; David Sharp in Portland, Maine; Gary D. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Robertson; Sarah Rankin of Richmond, Virginia; Trisha Ahmed of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and Cheung Min Kim in Washington contributed to this report.

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