DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Presidential candidates in both parties are looking to Michigan on Tuesday for one of the largest delegate hauls in the bruising nominating contests, with Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump attempting to secure their holds on front-runner status.
Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are vying for 130 delegates in the Democratic race, not including superdelegates unbound to the public vote. On the Republican side, 59 delegates are up for grabs among businessman Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In First Year, Study Says
In recent days, the former secretary of state and Vermont senator tangled aggressively over economic issues in industrial Michigan, which lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in a protracted economic downturn. They also held a debate in Flint, where residents need filters to use tap water because of lead contamination resulting from state regulatory failures.
Oriana Barnett, a stay-at-home mom and a Democrat, said she decided after Sunday’s debate that she’d support Sanders. She cited Sanders’ firm stance against fracking and Clinton’s “more conservative” answers.
“I voted with my heart, not my head,” she said.
Republicans, who debated in Detroit, are fighting to ensure they garner the minimum 15 percent of votes needed to secure some delegates — and slow Trump — before big winner-take-all elections in Ohio and Florida next week. Kasich in particular put a heavy emphasis on Michigan, campaigning the most here of any candidate.
Lansing voter Ann Grimm, age 60, said she wanted to cast her ballot for Ben Carson, and was saddened when she learned he dropped from the race. Grimm didn’t say who she voted for.
“Not Trump and not Hillary. They both scare me witless in completely different ways,” Grimm said, who’s a teacher for the Lansing School District. “No, not completely; they’re both egotistical people who are way more concerned about themselves than they are about good for anybody.”
Jacquelyn Hall-Keith was among voters turning out at Detroit’s 12th police precinct to cast their ballots.
“It’s interesting,” Hall-Keith said about the lack of civility among the candidates. “I’ve never seen anything like it since I’ve been voting.”
Hall-Keith submitted her vote for Clinton.
“I am a female. I think that this is our time. I understand the fight, I have fought that fight in terms of trailblazing, in terms of being a female and being attacked and having to rise to a higher standard,” she said. “There are things that she may have done that were questionable, but we have plenty of other people who have done the same things but there’s no questions asked about them.”READ MORE: Michigan Ballot Initiative Aims To Protect Abortion Rights
Another voter, who did not want to give her name, was very blunt about her feelings.
“I think this election is full of crap,” the woman told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “And if we as black people don’t get out here and do what we have to do — and many other races of people — this is going to be a mess.”
At the Butcher Educational Center in Warren, Bob and Nancy Young represented the Evangelical votes by supporting Cruz.
“We’re Christian so we like his methods. He doesn’t change, he doesn’t call names. We just don’t trust the other ones,” Bob Young told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
“Yeah, I like his stand on everything,” added Nancy Young. “I like the fact that he’s firm about what he’s going to do. He has a plan and he doesn’t waver.”
Gill Gotney was the 127th person to vote at Groves High School in Beverly Hills.
“I’m not feeling real well about things,” he told WWJ’s Laura Bonnell. “I don’t think we have very good choices this year from either party.”
Rhonda Romanowski said it’s going to be a tough road ahead no matter who gets the primary votes.
“I love Obama so it’s hard to replace him. The candidates are, with them going back and forth you don’t really know what the intentions are,” she said. “So I’m going with Hillary. I love Bill Clinton. I think she backed Bill Clinton, being his wife, and if she’s got a lot of him and Obama backs her, that seems like my choice right there.”
After this summer’s national conventions, Michigan will be crucial to the Democratic nominee. Democrats have won the state six straight times dating back two-dozen years, and the general election has not been competitive since 2004.MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
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