Trump and Biden clinch 2024 presidential nominations

A close-up of Biden on the left and Trump on right

File photo: This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, Jan. 19, 2024. (AP Photo, File)

The general election rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Biden is now official.

Both men have now secured the required delegates to be their respective party’s nominee.

Biden and Trump won nearly every contest in the presidential nominating calendar so far but the important threshold of winning a majority of delegates to the party conventions this summer has finally been met. Tuesday’s contests included primaries in Georgia, a key swing state for both parties, as well as Washington state and Mississippi.

Trump has been a de facto incumbent throughout the process, holding off several challengers though ceding a meaningful share of votes to former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Biden did not face serious opposition in the primaries, but opposition to his policies around Israel and Gaza has led to some delegates going to “uncommitted.”

In Biden’s response to securing the nomination earlier tonight he took a swipe at his expected challenger, front-runner Trump.

“Despite the challenges we faced when I took office, we’re in the middle of a comeback: wages are rising faster than inflation, jobs are coming back, consumer confidence has soared,” Biden said. “Amid this progress, we face a sobering reality: Freedom and democracy are at risk here at home in a way they have not been since the Civil War. Donald Trump is running a campaign of resentment, revenge, and retribution that threatens the very idea of America.”

Similarly, Trump lashed out at Biden.

“It is my great honor to be representing the Republican Party as its Presidential Nominee. Our Party is UNITED and STRONG, and fully understands that we are running against the Worst, Most Incompetent, Corrupt, and Destructive President in the History of the United States.” Trump said, citing border security, high interest rates and inflation — and without proof, that the U.S. was “a Third World Nation, which uses the Injustice System to go after his political opponent, ME!”

How it played out

Georgia’s polls closed at 7 p.m. ET and Mississippi’s closed at 8 p.m. ET, with Washington closing at 11 p.m. ET and the Hawaii GOP caucus concluding at 2 a.m. ET Wednesday. Biden secured the nomination not long after winning the primary in Georgia.

Heading into Tuesday, Biden had an estimated 1,866 delegates out of the 1,968 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. There were 254 delegates at stake in the March 12 Democratic contests, and Biden won all six of the delegates from the Northern Mariana Islands Tuesday morning.

For Trump, he needed 137 delegates heading into Tuesday. There were 161 up for grabs in the March 12 Republican contests. Trump secured the nomination just after Washington state’s polls closed — not long after winning Mississippi as well as Georgia, a state where he faces criminal charges for a failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election and other obstacles to winning in November.

This is the third presidential cycle in a row where Trump will be the GOP nominee. And as he secures the nomination on March 12, he becomes the second earliest Republican and third earliest candidate overall — in the modern era — to clinch his party’s spot at the top of the ticket.

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