Primary Protest Vote: 17% Of Republicans Vote Nikki Haley In Biggest Battleground State

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024 - 01:15 PM

On more than one occasion this primary season, the Biden-Harris campaign has been found itself on the wrong side of significant protest votes -- for example, when 13.3% of Michigan Democrats voted "uncommitted" to register their deep dissatisfaction with his handling of the Israel-Gaza war among other things. 

On Tuesday, it was Trump's turn to face some embarrassment, as nearly 17% of Pennsylvania Republicans voted for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley -- who pulled out of the race weeks ago. With more than 95% of the vote tallied, Trump had the support of 83.5% of GOP voters, while Haley got the nod from 16.5%. Note that Pennsylvania has "closed" primaries -- meaning those Haley votes came only from registered Republicans. 

“I despise [Trump],” 63-year-old Paul Woessner, a retired defense intelligence officer, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s a criminal. He’s a horrible person, utterly deranged. He’s destroyed one great political party.”

According to the RealClearPolitics average, Pennsylvania is the tightest among the battleground states that will decide the election, with Biden up just 0.5%. With 19 electoral college votes, Pennsylvania is also the most valuable. Haley also put up strong numbers in other battleground states after she'd already pulled out, scoring 13% in Georgia and Wisconsin and almost 18% in Arizona. 

The Haley vote was particular strong in the pivotal suburban Philly counties that are battlegrounds within the battleground:

  • Montgomery County: 25%

  • Chester County: 24%

  • Delaware County: 23%

  • Bucks County: 19%

To put things in a different perspective, Haley received more than 155,000 Republican votes on Tuesday. Biden officially won the Keystone State by 80,555 votes in 2020, and Trump won it by 44,292 in 2016. 

Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- who will participate in ZeroHedge's Great Bitcoin Debate on May 3rd along with Erik Vorhees, Peter Schiff and Nouriel Roubini -- took to Twitter to rub the primary outcome in his former boss's face: 

Despite the efforts of the "Abandon Biden" movement -- Democrats angered over Biden's policy toward Israel and Gaza -- he fared much better than Trump this time around. Unlike Michigan and other states, "uncommitted" wasn't one of the given options in Pennsylvania, so organizers encouraged disgruntled Dems to write in "No Joe." It didn't have much of an effect, as Biden ended up with 93% of the vote, and Dean Phillips got 6.9%. 

Pennsylvania Republicans' warning shot comes as election-watchers are increasingly focused on the key demographic that's been dubbed the "Double-Haters." Representing about 15% of voters, these are people who can't stand either Biden or Trump.

In a March USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 44% of Double-Haters said they backed an independent or third-party candidate, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, Jill Stein or Cornel West. Many said they plan to swallow their disgust -- 25% of the Double-Haters chose Trump and 18% picked Biden.  

Incumbent Senator Bob Casey (left) will face Republican Dave McCormick in November

Pennsylvania also has a key Senate race, pitting incumbent Democrat Bob Casey against Dave McCormick, a West Point grad, combat veteran, Bronze Star recipient who became Deputy National Security Advisor and later was CEO of investment management firm Bridgewater Associates. Casey is up 6%. 

Both Casey and McCormick were unopposed on Tuesday. Many Keystone State Republicans are relieved to have avoided a fierce primary battle like the one they had in 2022. That contest had McCormick up against Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz, who managed to lose to this guy: