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First Florida, now Indiana: Trump lost significant support from GOP base to candidates who already dropped out of the race


Florida – Several Republicans were chasing the GOP presidential nomination but Donald Trump was considered a favorite since the beginning and as the one that would be able to secure a victory in the rematch against their rival, President Joe Biden, in the upcoming November general election. Although securing sweeping victories in primaries across the country, Trump lost significant support from the Republican base to candidates that had already dropped out of the race, first in the Florida primary and now in Indiana, signaling apparent warning signs for the former president.

First Florida, now Indiana: Trump lost significant support from GOP base to candidates who already dropped out of the race

Republican Primary in Florida

The Republican primary in Florida was held nearly two months ago, and Trump was able to secure a win but lost nearly 20% of the votes to his rivals, with the majority of the lost votes going towards the candidates that had previously suspended their Republican presidential campaigns, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. The current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, received 41,269 votes, while Nikki Haley garnered 155,560 votes.

Indiana GOP Primary

A similar scenario developed in Indiana as well, where Trump faced notable dissent within his party during the GOP primary. There, former Republican rival Nikki Haley, who had officially withdrawn from the race, surprisingly secured over 20 percent of the vote.

Haley’s Persistent Influence

Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina, decided to drop out of the presidential race two months prior to the Indiana primary. Yet, she still managed to garner 21.7 percent of the vote, translating to more than 128,000 votes. This unexpected show of support underscores a persistent preference for Haley’s moderate Republican stance, despite her absence from the race.

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Trump, on the other hand, won the state decisively, claiming 78.3 percent of the vote and securing all 58 of Indiana’s GOP delegates. This victory contributed to his already substantial delegate lead, with a total of 2,037 delegates compared to Haley’s 97. His victory in Indiana was part of a series of triumphs that helped him secure the Republican nomination early, following successes in Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington state.

A Broader Trend of Resistance

The results in Indiana mirror a broader pattern of resistance within the Republican Party. In Pennsylvania, another key battleground state, Haley received 16.6 percent of the vote or over 158,000 votes, even after exiting the race. This trend was also visible on Super Tuesday, where Haley astonishingly won Vermont and drew significant portions of the vote in swing states like Michigan and Arizona.

Despite Trump’s dominance, these results highlight a critical rift within the GOP, particularly among more moderate Republicans who may be crucial for a presidential victory in November. Political analysts suggest that this undercurrent of dissent indicates a significant portion of GOP voters are looking beyond Trump’s “Make America Great Again” base.

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Voter Dynamics in Indiana

The support for Haley in Indiana might have been bolstered by the state’s open primary system, which allows voters to participate without registering with a specific political party. This system may have enabled a more diverse group of voters to express their preferences, potentially including those who typically lean more moderately or independently.

Implications for Trump’s Campaign

These developments have not gone unnoticed. Commentators and pollsters are pointing out that the significant percentage of votes for Haley represents a form of protest against Trump. Democratic pollster Matt McDermott expressed concern, stating that if a similar trend were observed with President Joe Biden, it would dominate national headlines.

Brian Tyler Cohen, a political commentator, noted on social media platform X that losing nearly a quarter of the primary vote to an absent candidate is a troubling sign for Trump.

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As the primary season progresses, with upcoming contests in Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia, and the Republican National Convention on the horizon in Milwaukee this July, these dynamics will be crucial to watch. Trump may be the presumptive nominee, but the lingering support for Haley underscores significant challenges as he seeks to unify the party ahead of a contentious race against Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.

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