Open in App
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Newsletter
  • The Tennessean

    Super Tuesday: Donald Trump, Joe Biden cruise to primary wins in Tennessee

    By Vivian Jones, Nashville Tennessean,


    Former President Donald Trump easily defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the Tennessee Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, continuing his march toward securing the GOP nomination .

    As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Trump had secured 77.8% of the vote to Haley's 19.1%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped out of the race earlier this year, won 1.4%.

    Meanwhile, incumbent President Joe Biden won the Democratic primary in the Volunteer State with no opponent on the ballot. Biden secured 92.7% of votes cast, as of 9 p.m.

    The Associated Press called the race shortly after polls closed at 7 p.m. CST. Trump defeated Haley, despite Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity Action and partner groups pouring more than $2.4 million into Tennessee in recent months, and hiring hundreds of part-time door-to-door canvassers, backing Haley and attacking Trump and Biden.

    Multiple polls showed 40- to 60-point spreads between Trump and Haley supporters in the months leading up to Tuesday. Sixty-three percent of Republican respondents to a Beacon Center poll in January said they would vote for Trump even if he is convicted of a crime.

    In response to Trump's victory, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee endorsed the former president for the first time this cycle.

    “Republican voters in Tennessee and across the country have made their voices heard. President Trump is the clear choice to take our conservative message to the American people, and I wholeheartedly offer him my full support," Lee said in a statement to The Tennessean.

    Lee has previously sidestepped any endorsements in the Republican primary , saying that he is instead focused on supporting Republicans in gubernatorial elections across the country as chair of the Republican Governors Association. Almost every member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation has endorsed Trump and is actively backing his campaign.

    “From governors’ seats to the White House, the future of opportunity, security and freedom is on the ballot this November," Lee said. “There is no doubt our country will again be stronger with President Trump in office, and it’s time to unite behind proven, conservative leaders who will revive our economy, secure the border and restore safety in our communities.”

    Tennessee was among the 16 states and a U.S. territory voting on Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the primary election season. Remaining party primaries will conclude before the party conventions, where electors will vote to formally select each party’s presidential nominee. The general presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

    Going into the day, Trump had defeated Haley in eight of the nine GOP primaries that took place prior to Super Tuesday. Haley won the Republican primary election against Trump in Washington D.C. on Sunday, becoming the first woman to win a Republican presidential primary.

    Trump’s victory in Tennessee on Tuesday marked his third in the Volunteer State – the former president won the Tennessee Republican primary in 2016 and 2020, and went on to win the state in the general election in both years with more than 60% of the vote.

    Four years later, Tennessee Republicans remain fiercely loyal to Trump – despite three criminal indictments and two impeachments.

    During two weeks of early voting, turnout across Tennessee in the 2024 presidential primary elections was down 20% from the 2020 presidential primaries, and down nearly 30% from 2016, according to early voting numbers from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office .

    Still, many were excited to get out and cast ballots.

    In Nashville, for instance, KK Rainey was one of the few voters braving the mid-morning rain at the Westmeade Elementary School polling location. She said that while she normally votes early, she was out of town for the early voting period and had to “make sure to vote for Trump.”

    “We have to be sure that our country is run correctly,” she said. “We've got to do something about our borders, and our national security, and the economy. The list goes on and on. But I think that he's probably the only one that can do it.”

    Another voter, John Starbuck, said he voted for Nikki Haley because the former South Carolina governor was “the best choice.”

    “It is my responsibility to go vote,” he said, blinking in the rain. “I voted for Nikki Haley—I think she’s the best candidate.”

    Opinions were diverse among voters, however. Shortly after Starbuck left, a trio of women walked up the hill to the polling location together.

    The women, who declined to give their names for privacy reasons, stated that it was “their duty as American citizens to vote,” and they were “voting Democrat.”

    Angele Latham contributed to this report.

    Vivian Jones covers state government and politics for The Tennessean. Reach her at .

    This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Super Tuesday: Donald Trump, Joe Biden cruise to primary wins in Tennessee

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0