Biden and Trump head toward rematch after securing party nominations

By Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Jack Forrest and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0509 GMT (1309 HKT) March 13, 2024
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12:40 a.m. ET, March 13, 2024

Biden and Trump clinch delegates and head toward November rematch. Catch up on what to know

From CNN staff

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.
Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. Getty Images, AP

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both secured enough delegates to become their parties’ presumptive nominees for president, setting up a rematch in November's general election.

Biden reached the magic number with an allocation of delegates from Georgia — a battleground state that was crucial in his 2020 general election victory. And Trump secured the GOP nomination after winning Washington state's primary.

Here’s where CNN has projected winners so far:

  • Biden will win the Democratic primaries in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state.
  • Trump will win the Republican primaries in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state. 

Results still outstanding: Hawaii Republicans are holding caucuses which will end at 2 a.m. ET. Voting is also wrapping up tonight in the primary for Democrats Abroad, the official arm of the Democratic Party for Americans living overseas.

Biden looks to rematch: The president said in a statement that he is honored to become his party’s presumptive nominee. He warned that “freedom and democracy” are at risk and that Trump poses a threat to America as he turns his attention to the general election. “Voters now have a choice to make about the future of our country,” Biden said.

Trump slams Biden: The former president slammed his opponent in a video posted on social media after becoming the presumptive GOP nominee and said now “we have to get to work to beat Joe Biden.” He emphasized the importance of the election in November, telling his supporters that “this vote is going to be the most important vote you’ve ever cast.”

But there’s a long road ahead: The 2024 matchup will be tied for the longest general election campaign in the past half-century. GOP challenger Nikki Haley dropped her primary bid with 244 days to go until the November election. The 2004 general election between Republican incumbent George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry also began 244 days before Election Day, according to a Pew Research Center analysis

Here's a look at the latest delegate count:

Democrat:

  • Biden: 2,099 (The president needed 1,968 to become the Democratic presumptive nominee)
  • Uncommitted: 20
  • Jason Palmer: 3 

Republican:

  • Trump: 1,228 (The former president needed at least 1,215 delegates to win the GOP nomination)

Remember: Neither Trump nor Biden will officially become the nominee until the national conventions vote this summer.

12:36 a.m. ET, March 13, 2024

Analysis: A historically long general election is upon us

From CNN’s Harry Enten

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump clinched enough delegates in Tuesday's nominating contests to officially become their parties' presumptive presidential nominees.

For all intents and purposes, though, the general election campaign began a week ago after Republican Nikki Haley dropped out of the GOP race, leaving Trump without any major challengers. Biden has only faced token opposition in the Democratic primary.  

This means that the 2024 matchup between Biden and Trump — which a lot of Americans don’t want any part of — will be tied for the longest general election campaign in the past half-century.

Haley dropped her primary bid with 244 days to go until the November election. The 2004 general election between Republican incumbent George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry also began 244 days before Election Day, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The 2000 general election between Bush and Democrat Al Gore started a slightly fewer 243 days before the election. 

These eight-month campaigns were far longer than the average length of a general election campaign since 1972 — which is less than six months.

The big difference between the 2000 and 2004 marathons and this year is that a lot of voters liked their choices in those years. Bush and Gore each finished the campaign with more people liking than disliking them. In 2004, most voters liked at least either Bush or Kerry. 

This year is anything but that. The latest ABC News/Ipsos poll drives home the point. Nearly one-third of adults (30%) said that neither Trump nor Biden would do a better job leading America. This is in line with past polling that has shown that both Biden and Trump have significantly higher unfavorable ratings than favorable ratings.

12:45 a.m. ET, March 13, 2024

Analysis: Biden has shelved the age issue for now — but Trump isn't ready to let it go 

From CNN's Stephen Collinson

Not even presidents can reverse time, so there’s only so much Joe Biden can do to defuse one of his top general election liabilities – his advanced age.

But Biden, 81, appears to be in far better shape on this question than he was a week ago – and not just because he charged past the magic number of convention delegates needed to clinch the 2024 Democratic nomination on Tuesday evening.

The president’s vigorous State of the Union address has partly reset the political narrative and is still delivering dividends. The prime-time look at Biden in his element, dominating the stage, offered a robust counter-image to the one Americans have sometimes seen – of a bewildered statesman who cited phone chats with dead European leaders and confused Mexico and Egypt in a news conference meant to fix the age issue.

However, one person not ready to let the age issue go is former President Donald Trump, who himself is 77. He put out a video of Biden stumbling on the steps of Air Force One and falling off his bike, seeking to revive his long-term narrative about his rival. The former president’s focus on Biden’s age reflects the fact that one good week will not change a harsh reality of the coming eight months. Any sign of fragility on the campaign trail will revive doubts over Biden’s ability not just to serve but to beat Trump when he’s underwater in multiple swing states and on key electoral issues.

Biden has implicitly acknowledged this will continue to be a vulnerability. In an ad released over the weekend, he said, “I’m not a young guy, that’s no secret. But here’s the deal, I understand how to get things done for the American people.” Biden’s supporters often complain that there is a double standard on age since Trump is not far behind Biden in years. But the ex-president’s bombast and bluster tends to undercut that criticism – something the Biden camp acknowledges by sometimes implicitly arguing that while the president is old, he’s not a wild threat to the rule of law and the Constitution like his predecessor.

Read the full analysis on this moment in Biden's campaign.

12:01 a.m. ET, March 13, 2024

Trump reacts to securing enough delegates to win GOP nomination: "This was a great day of victory"

From CNN's Rashard Rose

Former President Donald Trump celebrated earning enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination, calling Tuesday a "great day of victory."

"This was a great day of victory. Last week was something very special – Super Tuesday –  but now we have to get back to work because we have the worst president in the history of country," Trump said, adding that Biden "must be defeated."

Trump reached the 1,215 delegates necessary with an allocation of delegates from Washington state.

"We're not going to take time to celebrate. We'll celebrate in eight months when the election is over. November 5, I believe, will go down as the most important day in the history of our country," Trump continued in a video posted by his campaign on X.

Trump will be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this July.

Trump also touched on some of his usual campaign issues including immigration and energy production.

12:18 a.m. ET, March 13, 2024

Analysis: How Biden hopes to recapture voters scarred by inflation

From CNN's Ronald Brownstein

As President Joe Biden barnstorms battleground states this week, he is framing the debate with former President Donald Trump around themes of economic populism that Democrats have employed, often with success, for decades. But Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, may prove to be a more elusive target for those arguments than a typical GOP candidate.

Biden is portraying himself as committed to standing up for average Americans against powerful interests and the wealthy. But polls consistently show that significantly more Americans, including substantial numbers of Black and Hispanic voters, believe they personally benefited from Trump’s policies than Biden’s.

That sentiment risks blunting Biden’s populist arguments: even if he can convince voters that Trump’s policies helped the rich and corporations the most, they may not mind as much if they believe that they also benefited more under Trump than they have under Biden.

For Biden – who spent Tuesday meeting with Teamsters leaders and is headed to Wisconsin and Michigan the next two days – the critical question may be whether voters’ support for key ideas in his policy agenda can outweigh their frustration with their lived economic experience during his presidency. “You are really hitting on the crux of what a lot of swing votes will be [weighing] going into the election,” said Democratic pollster Danielle Deiseroth.

Biden has plenty of ammunition to mount a traditional populist case against Trump. The former president’s principal legislative accomplishment was a massive tax cut that provided most of its direct benefits to corporations and the most affluentTrump came within one Senate vote of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has significantly increased health care coverage for lower-income working Americans.

Keep reading about how Biden is looking to recapture voters.

11:24 p.m. ET, March 12, 2024

CNN Projection: Biden will win Washington state’s Democratic primary 

From CNN staff 

President Joe Biden will win the Washington state Democratic primary, CNN projects.  

There were 92 Democratic delegates at stake in the primary.  

Earlier this evening, Biden earned enough delegates to secure the Democratic presidential nomination with an allocation of delegates from Georgia, CNN projects.

Remember: It takes 1,968 of 3,934 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. Biden will officially be nominated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this August.

 

11:13 p.m. ET, March 12, 2024

CNN Projection: Trump will win Washington's primary and secure enough delegates for GOP nomination 

From CNN staff  

Former President Donald Trump has earned enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination, according to a projection from the CNN Decision Desk.

Trump reached the 1,215 delegates necessary with an allocation of delegates from Washington state. 

Trump will be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this July.

 

11:00 p.m. ET, March 12, 2024

It's 11 p.m. ET and polls are closing across Washington state

From CNN's Ethan Cohen and Molly English

An election worker sorts through vote-by-mail ballots on Tuesday in Vancouver, Washington.
An election worker sorts through vote-by-mail ballots on Tuesday in Vancouver, Washington. Jenny Kane/AP

Polls have now closed in Washington state, where open primaries allow registered voters to participate in either contest.

Republicans have 43 delegates at stake and Democrats have 92.

Washington has become a stronghold for Democrats. Democratic support in the state is largely centralized in the high-tech, progressive hubs of Seattle and the surrounding King County area. Republicans run best in the more sparsely populated and rural parts of the state. The battle for control is usually fought in the outlying Seattle suburbs

The state’s 2022 midterm elections painted a difficult picture for the state’s GOP organization. Democratic Sen. Patty Murray won reelection with 57.1% of the vote and Democrats flipped a House seat, giving the state eight Democratic members of the House and Republicans only two.

10:47 p.m. ET, March 12, 2024

Harris previews 2024 election talking points as she celebrates Biden clinching the nomination 

From CNN's DJ Judd

Vice President Kamala Harris waves to supporters at the start of a campaign rally at Reelworks in Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday.
Vice President Kamala Harris waves to supporters at the start of a campaign rally at Reelworks in Denver, Colorado, on Tuesday. Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated Joe Biden securing the delegates needed to clinch his party’s nomination on Tuesday and forecasted how the president's campaign will look to take the fight to Donald Trump in the general election.

“From the start, the President and I never took this re-nomination process for granted,” Harris wrote. “We have campaigned in earnest because we know doing so is an important step towards earning reelection and will help us mobilize the voters we need in November.”

Harris hit Trump over his role in overturning of Roe v. Wade, his signaling Monday to CNBC that Social Security and Medicare could be cut and his past praise for autocrats.

“Now, the general election truly begins, and the contrast could not be clearer. Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy and our fundamental freedoms," she added.

Earlier this evening, Biden said he is honored to become his party’s presumptive nominee and warned of another Trump presidency.