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Bernie Sanders Wins The Michigan Democratic Primary

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. acknowledges his supporters on arrival at a campaign rally, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Miami.

We will be updating this page continuously throughout the night. Keep refreshing for updates.

Bernie Sanders has won the Michigan Democratic primary, the AP projects. That's the biggest news out of Tuesday night's presidential nomination races. Though Clinton had led consistently in recent polls, Sanders squeaked out a narrow win, with a two-percentage-point lead with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton won easily in Mississippi earlier in the evening. And in the Republican races that have been called thus far, Donald Trump is two for two, with two more states (Idaho and Hawaii) still to post results.

Here's what you need to know thus far:


  • Bernie Sanders has won the Michigan Democratic primary, the AP projects.
  • Donald Trump has won the Michigan Republican primary, the AP projects.
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich also posted a strong showing and is in a close race for second with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, according to results reported by CNN.
  • Trump was broadly popular across lots of groups, according to exit polls. Kasich, meanwhile, performed particularly well among voters with postgraduate education, moderates, and people who said they were choosing a candidate because they disliked the others.
  • It's still too early to call the race on the Democratic side.
  • Exit polls in that state show some expected patterns: Clinton did better among older voters, while Sanders far and away won younger ones. Clinton won black voters over Sanders 65-30. However, that's not nearly as strong as her performance among black voters in some southern states.


  • Donald Trump has won the Republican primary in Mississippi, the AP projects.
  • Hillary Clinton has won that state's Democratic primary, the AP projects.
  • That state has 36 Democratic delegates up for grabs and 40 on the Republican side.
  • One big factor in Clinton's win: black voters made up more than 6 in 10 Mississippi voters, according to early exit polls. Clinton won 89 percent of those voters, to Sanders' 11.
  • On the Republican side, exit polls suggest it was largely a two-person race, between Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
  • Trump was strong among a broad swath of demographic groups, but Cruz showed particular strength among voters who were very conservative, want a candidate who shares their values, and want an experienced candidate.

The Big Questions Tonight Answered

Can Sanders really hold his own in Michigan?


Even though this contest hasn't been called yet, this uber-tight race is the biggest story of the night. Recent polls had shown Sanders behind Clinton by double digits.

It may be a sign of Clinton's vulnerabilities. Sanders had blasted Clinton on trade in Michigan, and his win may prove that that strategy was successful. He had targeted Clinton's past support for trade policies like NAFTA and the Obama Administration's Trans Pacific Partnership, saying that trade pacts kill the kinds of manufacturing jobs that many Michiganders have.

In exit polls, the majority of Michigan voters (58 percent) said they think trade takes away U.S. jobs, and Sanders was strong among those voters, with 56 percent of their vote. With another big-delegate Rust Belt state (Ohio) coming up next week, expect to see the Sanders camp amplify the trade message.

The question is what this does for Sanders. With Mississippi and Michigan taken together, Clinton will win more delegates tonight.

Can Trump rack up more decisive wins?

Yes...but not everywhere.

Prior to Tuesday night, Trump had received more than 40 percent support in 5 out of 20 contests, as NPR's Domenico Montanaro reported this week. Tonight, he notched another of those big wins in Mississippi, where he had 47 percent of the vote (with 91 percent of precincts reporting).

In that state, it was largely a two-person race between Trump and Cruz. But in Michigan, where Kasich was competitive, Trump came in at around 36 percent. One thing to watch going ahead is — as other GOP candidates drop out — how many of their voters flock to Trump vs. another not-Trump candidate.

The Delegate Situation

Altogether, 316 delegates are up for grabs tonight — 150 for Republicans and 166 for Democrats (this does not count the unpledged superdelegates that factor into the Democratic race).

Trump's wins in Mississippi and Michigan will give him a further boost over his competition. Heading into Tuesday night, Trump had 384 delegates, compared to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's 300, Marco Rubio's 151, and Kasich's 37.

Meanwhile, Clinton could gain more delegates tonight than Sanders. Even if he wins Michigan, her big win in Mississippi could help her expand her delegate lead over Bernie Sanders. Going into Tuesday night, Clinton had won 673 pledged delegates, compared to 477 for her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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