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News / Nation & World

Biden and Trump win some of 2024’s final primaries

Results could signal voter reaction to ex-president’s conviction

By MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press
Published: June 4, 2024, 8:55pm

NEW YORK — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won Democratic and Republican primaries in a handful of states Tuesday, among some of the last contests on the 2024 primary calendar.

Trump, appearing on the ballot for the first time since his historic conviction for felony crimes, won primaries in New Mexico, where voters could opt for his rivals who have since dropped out, and New Jersey, where he was unopposed. The former president was also on the ballot in Montana’s Republican contest.

Biden won Democratic primaries in New Mexico, South Dakota, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Republicans in D.C. held a party-run primary in March. South Dakota canceled its GOP presidential primary because Trump was uncontested.

Voters also cast ballots in primary races for federal, state and local offices in those states.

Trump and Biden were both expected to easily prevail in all of Tuesday’s contests as the last major candidates still running.

But the results could signal voter concerns about their choices as November’s election barrels closer.

If Trump’s margins of victory are closer than expected, it could be a sign that voters have hesitations about nominating a presidential candidate with a felony criminal record.

Trump’s domination in the primary has also been shadowed by ongoing support from a minority of GOP voters for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who dropped out in March. Tuesday’s contests will be the first since Haley said two weeks ago that she would vote for Trump in November. They may be an indicator of whether her supporters will follow her.

Biden has faced his own ongoing protest vote in recent contests as Democratic voters unhappy with his handling of Israel’s war with Hamas seek to register their disapproval. There are organized campaigns in several states Tuesday to vote for “uncommitted” in the Democratic contests. In New Jersey’s primary, “uncommitted” will be on the ballot in many counties above the phrase, “Justice For Palestine, Permanent Ceasefire Now!”

After Tuesday, Democrats have two additional caucuses on June 8, for Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to close out their 2024 primary calendar.

Beyond the presidential contests, the states were holding primary elections for federal and local races Tuesday, with one of the most watched being the Republican Senate race in Montana.

Retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy had the backing of Trump and national Republican leaders as he faced two other candidates in the race. The winner will challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in what’s expected to be one of the most competitive races that could decide control of the chamber.

Republicans were also picking a nominee to replace Rep. Matt Rosendale, who is retiring after he originally sought to run in the Senate contest but dropped out when Trump endorsed Sheehy.

In New Jersey, voters were selecting a candidate to replace scandal-plagued Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez, who is on trial in New York on federal corruption charges.