Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner highlights one Midwestern state’s critical role in this year’s election.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump’s economic pitches to Michigan’s blue-collar voters, particularly the state’s half million union members, could decide the 2024 general election as this week’s primary underscores the likely nominees’ respective weaknesses before November.

If Trump can compete with Biden for those voters in places such as Michigan’s famed Macomb County, as former President Ronald Reagan did in 1980 with so-called Reagan Democrats, he could win the state’s 15 Electoral College votes and reclaim the White House this election cycle.

Trump not only has to win Macomb County, as he did in 2016 and 2020, but he also has to “win with a margin” to counter the parts of Michigan where he could underperform, according to Republican strategist Jamie Roe, the longtime chief of staff to former Republican Rep. Candice Miller.

Tuesday’s Republican primary emphasized Trump’s loose grip on 30 to 40% of his party, with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley holding him to 70% of the vote. Meanwhile, Biden netted about 80% of the Democratic primary vote due to an “uncommitted” protest vote.

Macomb County voted for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) in 2022, “but every time Trump’s been on the ballot, there are parts of the electorate that come out” for him “that really don’t come out for a whole lot of other people,” Roe told the Washington Examiner.

Those people include union workers, despite Michigan-based United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain, for example, endorsing Biden last month.

Terry Bowman, Trump’s 2016 campaign Michigan co-chairman and 2020 Workers for Trump national chairman, has also worked for the Ford Motor Company for almost three decades. Bowman now chairs the board of the non-political Institute for the American Worker, but contended what is good for union officials does not “necessarily mean that it’s good for the rank and file.”