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Trump wins 14 Super Tuesday primaries as Haley withdraws, paving way for 2020 rematch

“Across the country, pro-Israel candidates were immensely successful in yesterday’s primaries,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann told JNS.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 17, 2017. Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley/Coast Guard photo.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 17, 2017. Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley/Coast Guard photo.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump won 14 of the 15 Super Tuesday Republican primaries, paving the way for a rematch of the 2020 election against U.S. President Joe Biden.

Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, eked out a win in Vermont after winning the Washington, D.C., primary on Sunday. She conceded on Wednesday morning in a talk televised to the nation.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party, and beyond it, who did not support him, and I hope he does that,” Haley said. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people. This is now his time for choosing.”

Haley declined to endorse Trump and concluded by quoting Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For God will be with you wherever you go.”

On his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote that Haley got “trounced” and that much of her support came from “radical left democrats.”

“I’d like to thank my family, friends and the great Republican Party for helping me to produce, by far, the most successful Super Tuesday in history, and would further like to invite all of the Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in the history of our nation,” Trump wrote.

“Biden is the enemy. He is destroying our country. Make America great again,” he added, in all capital letters.

‘Most pro-Israel president’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Republican Jewish Coalition endorsed Trump after his Super Tuesday victories. The RJC called him “the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history.”

“Today, in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack, support for the Jewish community and the State of Israel is more important than ever,” the RJC stated. “Donald J. Trump is the trusted friend we need in these perilous times.”

In the Democratic primary, Biden easily swept Tuesday’s races, winning at least 70% of the vote in every state. (Biden lost the caucus in the U.S. territory of American Samoa to businessman Jason Palmer, who won 51 out of 91 total votes cast.) 

Biden had his worst showing in a state in Minnesota, where 18.9% voted “uncommitted.” Campaigners for the anti-Israel campaign, which urges Democrats to choose “uncommitted” on their ballot in protest of the Biden administration’s support for Israel, claimed all 11 uncommitted delegates elected on Tuesday.

“We are sending 11 uncommitted delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago,” Vote Uncommitted Minnesota wrote. “We will center Palestinian life.”

The effort follows a similar campaign in the state of Michigan, where “uncommitted” won 13.2% of the vote and two delegates. Like Michigan, Minnesota’s delegates to the DNC will be selected by Democratic Party congressional district conventions, and the “uncommitted” delegates may ultimately be pro-Biden supporters of Israel.

Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport on Feb. 21, 2024, en route to San Francisco. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.

Minnesota’s switch from a caucus system to a primary in 2020 makes it difficult to compare the “uncommitted” result to previous years, but it’s routine for a large share of voters to mark their ballots “uncommitted.” 

In the 2012 Democratic Primary in Kentucky, with then-President Barack Obama running unchallenged, 42.1% of Democrats voted “uncommitted.” However, the strong showing of 30% “uncommitted” in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s 5th Minnesota congressional district suggests that there is a genuine distaste for Biden’s support for Israel among Muslim and Arab Democrats.

‘Strong night’

Down ballot, Jewish groups said that Tuesday was a strong night for pro-Israel candidates.

“Across the country, pro-Israel candidates were immensely successful in yesterday’s primaries, and we were proud to help elect Democrats and Republicans who stand with the Jewish state,” Marshall Wittmann, AIPAC spokesman, told JNS.

“Last night, 79 candidates endorsed by AIPAC won their primaries,” he said. “Of note are Adam Schiff, who was the most pro-Israel Democrat in the California Senate primary, and Lizzie Fletcher, who prevailed over a detractor in Texas.”

Schiff garnered the second-most votes after his Republican opponent Steve Garvey in California’s “jungle primary.” Schiff spent some $30 million on ads about Garvey, apparently designed to endear him to Republican voters, teeing up a matchup between the Democrat and Republican in November. 

The result boxed out Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, who came in third and fourth, respectively. The two Democrats, both of whom called for a ceasefire in Gaza, would have competed with Schiff from the left.

The Democratic Majority for Israel touted Fletcher, the incumbent Democrat in Texas, for defeating an anti-Israel primary challenger, Pervez Agwan. DMFI said the win was evidence of Democratic support for Israel.

“Democratic primary voters rejected his platform, which included support for the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement and opposition to U.S. military aid for Israel,” DMFI stated. “Congresswoman Fletcher’s vast 48-point margin makes it clear there is little support for an anti-Israel agenda among Democratic primary voters.”

The results in North Carolina, meanwhile, set the stage for a gubernatorial battle between Democratic state Attorney General Josh Stein, who is Jewish, and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican who has previously apologized for making antisemitic social-media posts.

In a 2014 Facebook post, Robinson quoted Adolf Hitler on the value of racial pride, and he has used Yiddish and Hebrew phrases in posts implying that Jews exploit black people. In other posts, Robinson seemed to question the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust and defended Hitler from the charge that he had disarmed Jews.

“This foolishness about Hitler disarming millions of Jews and then marching them off to concentration camps is a bunch of hogwash,” Robinson wrote in 2018.

Robinson has said that he is a supporter of Israel and denies that he is antisemitic.

“There have been some Facebook posts that were poorly worded on my part,” Robinson said at an Oct. 12 press conference, announcing Israel Solidarity Week in North Carolina. “There is no antisemitism standing here in front of you.”

‘School choice’

Tuesday’s primaries were also a victory for school-choice advocates in Texas, where six incumbent Republicans opposed to it were defeated in their primaries, and four more will face runoffs.

In 2023, 21 Republicans joined with Democrats in the Republican-controlled Texas House to remove school vouchers from the state’s education bill. Of the 21, between six and 10 now have a chance to return to Austin.

“School choice is winning bigly in Texas tonight,” wrote Jason Bedrick, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s education policy center.
“Last night was a mandate for school choice in Texas. A bloodbath,” wrote Corey DeAngelis, an advocate of school choice, whose affiliations include the Hoover Institution. “The largest political shift towards school choice in Texas history.”

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