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Former Vice President Joe Biden wins Michigan's Democratic presidential primary

Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

A resurgent Joe Biden has continued his momentum with a win in Michigan's Democratic primary, denying Bernie Sanders' attempt to rekindle his presidential campaign in what will be a presidential battleground in November.

Michigan's primary was the largest delegate prize in this week's slate of contests, in what effectively is a two-man race after Biden's big Super Tuesday wins winnowed the field.

Biden supporters were jubilant in Detroit Tuesday night. 

Former Governor Jim Blanchard believes Biden’s primary win shows Democratic voters believe he can defeat President Donald Trump in November.

Joe Biden supporters celebrate at a watch party in Detroit.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Joe Biden supporters celebrate at a watch party in Detroit.

“Right now people are worried about having a Democrat that can govern America and defeat Mr. Trump, who we feel is destroying the American Dream and the American ideal,” Blanchard said. “The voters here are saying we need someone who can win and govern America effectively, and has a heart and compassion, empathy. We’re not interested in a revolution.”

A group of Sanders supporters at a watch party in Detroit was disappointed by the election results. But many say they remain optimistic.

Michael Fasullo is the Michigan coordinator for the Sanders campaign. He says he’s remaining optimistic that people will keep fighting for what Sanders’ campaign stands for.

"Look, people like Bernie Sanders, they like these issues," Fasullo said. "It’s about showing we can defeat Donald Trump, and we’re going to continue to show that throughout this race."

Fasullo says he hopes that young first-time voters aren’t discouraged by the outcome.

Justin Onwenu is a Sanders campaign volunteer. He says he was attracted to Sanders’ stances on cleaning up the environment and improving education.

"Those are values that I think the state of Michigan can carry even beyond the Sanders campaign," he said.

Onwenu says despite last night’s outcome, he thinks Sanders can still win the nomination.

Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer endorsed Biden. He is still a long way from having enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Michigan is part of the "blue wall" that flipped to Donald Trump in 2016.

This is a developing story.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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