Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden addressed striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union at a picket line in Michigan in September, 2023. The incumbent will now face disillusioned voters in the state ahead of the primaries. AFP

The last state primary before Super Tuesday is underway in Michigan. The Great Lake State will see candidates in both parties going head to head for their respective nominations in the general election ballot. But while Biden and Trump are the most likely to win their party's candidacy, Michigan might present some challenges for both politicians.

Trump, despite his undoubted dominance of the Republican contests this year, is facing a group of stubborn and loyally persistent GOP voters who support his last standing competitor Nikki Haley, and who are skeptical of his prospect's in a rematch against Biden.

As for the Democrats, Biden is facing a plethora of voters who, among other things like the economy, are disillusioned with the incumbent's handling of the war in Gaza and his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu. This is especially the case in this state, which boasts a significant Muslim community.

As these dynamics are put to test in Michigan, both campaigns will be looking at the margins for signs of weakness in a state that went for Biden by just 3 percentage points in 2020.

The state's salience in the general elections are even being communicated by candidates. In fact, Biden said in a local Michigan radio interview Monday that it would be "one of the five states" that would determine the winner in November.

But where does that leave Latinos? Michigan is a predominantly white and suburban state, which could be a double-edged sword for the GOP, as Trump's target audience has been proven to be primarily white, over 50 and without a college degree. On the other hand though, the party has had increasing issues with getting support in the suburbs, as it was recently seen in a special election in New York.

But despite these predominant demographics, Michigan has been getting increasingly diversified, as white people in the state now comprise around 73% of the population, compared to 80% in previous decades.

To account for this new diversification, here are five quick facts about Latinos in Michigan that you should know about ahead of the state's primaries, and the general elections in November.

  • In 2021, Hispanics in Michigan accounted for about 5.3% of the state's population, with the most common place of origin being Mexico, according to Data USA.
  • The most common non-English language spoken in households in Michigan was Spanish. 2.89% of the households in Michigan reported speaking Spanish at home as the primary shared language between all members in the household, according to Data USA.
  • Michigan ranks in the 18th spot with the most Latino voters nationally, with around 278,000 Latinos being eligible to vote.
  • Despite being a relatively small minority in Michigan, Latinos have been increasingly considered to be a key player in the state's election. In 2022, the Latino electorate in Michigan overwhelmingly supported blue candidates in Senate and governor races with around 74% of the demographic supporting the Democratic party.
  • Regardless of demographics, Michigan is considered to be part of Democrats' "Blue wall," a term used by political pundits to refer to eighteen states and the District of Columbia won in each presidential election from 1992 to 2012. In the 2020 presidential election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeated President Trump by reclaiming key blue states like Michigan.

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