Donald Trump is projected to win the Michigan GOP primary Tuesday, disappointing Trump foes who had hoped that either John Kasich or Ted Cruz could pull an upset.
His victory was called by MSNBC and Fox News at 9 p.m. EST, when the final polls closed in the state..
For months, Kasich supporters had hoped that Michigan would offer a regional advantage to the Ohio governor. Nevertheless, Trump was leading significantly in many of the polls ahead of the primary. A recent poll did hint at a late surge by Kasich, and Cruz appeared to be gaining traction in another poll released in the past week. Both candidates made appearances in the state.
The upticks in polling were enough to make anti-Trump forces believe that, at the very least, other candidates could make a play for more delegates in the state, which awards its 59 delegates proportionally if the winner fails to get a majority of the vote. Some GOP elites including Mitt Romney have floated a contested convention as being their best opportunity to defeat Trump and thus have urged voters to support whichever non-Trump candidate has the best chance to do well in the state.
But the efforts were not enough to stop Trump from winning the state. He hosted his own rally in Detroit last week, in addition to appearing at the recent GOP debate in Michigan.
Campaigning in Michigan, Trump played up his criticism of trade deals, which he says have been bad for the auto industry in Michigan. His proposals on trade, which include foreign tariffs, put him at odds with the Republican party line, but have been appealing to blue collar workers whose jobs have been threatened by globalization.