Cape Times

Biden, Trump win nomination­s


US PRESIDENT Joe Biden headed to the political battlegrou­nd state of Wisconsin yesterday after clinching the Democratic Party’s nomination, where he will focus on securing the votes of suburban women, black voters and Latinos across the Midwest.

Biden’s campaign issued a new video titled “Let’s Go” after voters in Georgia helped the 81-year-old incumbent president secure the last of the 1 968 delegates needed for the nomination, teeing up what would be the first US presidenti­al rematch in nearly 70 years.

Biden has sharpened his attacks in recent weeks on former president Donald Trump, 77, and what he called Trump’s “campaign of resentment, revenge, and retributio­n that threatens the very idea of America”.

In Milwaukee, Biden will again tout his administra­tion’s economic policies – although that strategy has failed to persuade many likely voters thus far – and open the campaign’s local headquarte­rs before moving on to Michigan.

The White House said Biden would announce $3.3 billion (R61.5bn)in projects in 40 states to reconnect communitie­s divided by highways decades ago. His visit is part of a month-long “I’m on board” blitz by top administra­tion officials aimed at rallying supporters in each of the seven battlegrou­nd states that could decide the 2024 election. In the past week, Biden has already been in Pennsylvan­ia, Georgia and New Hampshire.

Wisconsin is a politicall­y important state that the Biden team wants to win in November to get to the 270 state electoral votes required to be re-elected. Biden won the state of nearly 6 million people in 2020 by less than 1% of votes; in 2016 Wisconsin supported Republican nominee Trump.

Organisers said they expected hundreds of pro-Palestinia­n marchers to protest against Biden’s visit to Milwaukee over his response to Israel’s war on Gaza, sparked by the October 7 attack of the Palestinia­n militant group Hamas, that killed some 1 200 people.

More than 30 000 people in Gaza have been killed as a result of Israel’s military response, according to Palestinia­n authoritie­s, and the war has angered some of Biden’s core group of voters, including young people and left-leaning progressiv­es.

Biden needed 1 968 delegates to win the nomination, and he passed that number on Tuesday night as results began to come in from the primary contest in Georgia, Edison Research said. Results were also coming in from Mississipp­i, Washington state, the Northern Mariana Islands and Democrats living abroad.

Hours later, Trump clinched the 1 215 delegates required to secure the Republican presidenti­al nomination as four states held contests, including Georgia, the battlegrou­nd where Trump faces criminal charges for his efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 results. There were 161 delegates at stake on Tuesday in Georgia, Hawaii, Mississipp­i and Washington state.

The outcome of Tuesday’s voting was essentiall­y predetermi­ned, after Trump’s last remaining rival for the Republican nomination, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, ended her presidenti­al campaign following Trump’s dominant performanc­e last week on Super Tuesday, when he won 14 of 15 state contests.

Trump said there was no time to celebrate, and instead put the focus on beating Biden, whom he called the “worst” president in US history.

The last repeat presidenti­al match-up took place in 1956, when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower defeated former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, a Democrat, for the second time.

Public polls showing both Biden and Trump are unpopular with voters. Trump’s myriad criminal charges could harm his standing among the suburban, well-educated voters whose support he has struggled to garner.

Biden has been dogged by the perception that he is too old to serve a second four-year term.

The crisis at the US-Mexico border, where an influx of migrants has overwhelme­d the system, is another weakness for Biden. He has sought to transfer the blame to Trump after the former president urged congressio­nal Republican­s to kill a bipartisan border security bill that would have stepped up enforcemen­t.

Biden has presided over an expanding economy, with inflationa­ry pressure easing and stocks hitting all-time highs. But polls show Americans are frustrated about high prices of items like food and housing.

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