LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Donald Trump won Michigan’s presidential primary to keep intact his front-runner status, while Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vied Tuesday for a large delegate haul in the industrial state where they tangled aggressively over economic issues.READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
Trump defeated Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida — whose order of finish was unresolved in early returns.
With more than a third of precincts reporting, Trump had 37 percent — followed by Kasich with 25 percent, Cruz with 24 percent and Rubio with 9 percent.
Fifty-nine delegates will be divided proportionally among the Republicans who win at least 15 percent of the vote. Trump will win at least 21 delegates in Michigan, Kasich will win at least 15 delegates and Cruz will win at least 12.
In a news conference at one of his Florida resorts, Trump predicted he would win Michigan in November’s general election — something a Republican nominee has not done 28 years.
“We’re going to bring the car industry back,” he said. Americans purchased nearly 17.5 million vehicles last year, a record.
Car salesman Rick Waddell, 61, of Crystal Township in Montcalm County northeast of Grand Rapids, had said earlier Tuesday he and his wife, Kaye, voted for Trump.
“We are so disappointed with the GOP establishment, and the same old, same old doesn’t cut it,” he said. “We need drastic action to reverse our downward spiral economically.”
Clinton, the former secretary of state, and Sanders, a Vermont senator, fought for a share of 130 delegates, not including unbound superdelegates. Sanders had 51 percent and Clinton had 47 percent.
In recent days, the Democrats battled over trade deals and auto bailouts in the state that lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in a protracted, decade-long 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.READ MORE: Shot Doral Police Officer In Serious But Stable Condition, Second Officer Recovering
Oriana Barnett, a stay-at-home mom from Ann Arbor, said she decided after Sunday’s debate that she would support Sanders. She cited his firm stance against fracking and Clinton’s “more conservative” answers.
“I voted with my heart, not my head,” she said.
Among Republicans, who debated in Detroit, Kasich in particular put a heavy emphasis on Michigan. On Tuesday, he told crowd in Lansing that “we’re going to have a very strong finish here, better than anybody thought a few days ago.”
Cruz, during a last-minute stop late Monday near Grand Rapids in conservative western Michigan, asked Republicans opposed to Trump to back him — saying “we are the only candidate that has beaten Donald Trump repeatedly.”
Claire and Mick Olinik of Traverse City made Kasich their choice. They said they believe he is fiscally responsible and smart — someone who would exercise good judgment and represent the nation well.
“I like the fact that he leans more conservative, but he’s not a scary conservative,” said Claire, a professional musician and co-owner with her husband of a marketing business. “Of everybody still left in the race, frankly, he’s the one that scares me least.”
Clinton marked primary day with some stops at a bakery and coffeehouse in Detroit, where she was hoping to maintain the overwhelming support from black voters she has received elsewhere.
“I like what she stands for — trying to keep our money here in the United States,” said Kisha Gibson, 43, a host at a Detroit casino. “She said that if you are taking jobs elsewhere, you need to pay a tax.”
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.
For more on Campaign 2016, click here.MORE NEWS: South Florida PBA Union President Steadman Stahl On Stress Of Being A Police Officer
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