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Michigan Voters Expected To Give Trump Another Win In The Primary Column


NPR's Don Gonyea is in Michigan, one of the states voting for presidential candidates today.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Everywhere John Kasich goes in Michigan he promotes his record as governor next door in Ohio while always, always stressing that his is the campaign that won't get down in the mud.


JOHN KASICH: Personal attacks against Donald Trump is not the way you win voters. You want to win a voter that likes Trump, you give them an answer that's real because they want to know how their wages are going to go up. They want to know how their job is going to be secured. They want to know that if people cheat in a trade deal somebody's going to stick up for them.

GONYEA: That was at an event in Monroe, Mich., before an audience of a few hundred. Kasich isn't drawing giant crowds, but they listen closely and seem happy that one candidate is taking the high road. Retiree Art Stawicki came to see Kasich in Grosse Pointe Woods. His assessment...

ART STAWICKI: He's the only adult in this race.

GONYEA: Stawicki and his wife, Nicole, like Kasich the best. But there's a catch.

NICOLE STAWICKI: We're torn. We truly are torn in this election. We're very torn.

GONYEA: She worries he can't win in November.

N. STAWICKI: We feel he is very qualified for the job - more so than some of the others. But how well would he do in a national election?

GONYEA: But no other candidate has been working Michigan as hard as Kasich, which brings us to Ted Cruz. He hasn't been in the state a lot this past week, but he came to Grand Rapids last night for a big primary-eve rally. Cruz does have a solid organization here and devoted followers. The super PAC that backs him has also held rallies.


GLENN BECK: When you're really angry, you don't make good decisions. Don't drive drunk. Don't vote angry.

GONYEA: That was talk show host Glenn Beck campaigning for Cruz on Sunday and lampooning the motivation voiced by many Trump supporters. Thirty-year-old Nathan Huwer was there. He's a construction manager who says his first choice was Sen. Rand Paul. But now he's on board for Cruz.

NATHAN HUWER: What I like about Ted Cruz is I think that he will follow through with what he says.

GONYEA: He's brought his young kids with him. They're running around waving their glittery, homemade Cruz campaign signs. But Huwer is not happy with the tone of the GOP race. That was especially true when he sat down with his children to watch the most recent debate.

HUWER: And I'm just so embarrassed. When we watched the debate, what I have to tell them - I have to tell them this was not always like this. And we go back and we're looking at old debates. And I'm saying, this is how it was.

GONYEA: Cruz supporter Mike Mangan is a truck driver who also says the mudslinging can be over the top. But he says the fact that outsiders have dominated the primaries is a great thing.

MIKE MANGAN: I love it.

GONYEA: You love it?

MANGAN: I love it because of the grassroots movement that made this all exist. And this is the result when people actually stand up. And that's what this country was founded on. And that's what makes this actually a really fun moment.

GONYEA: Sen. Cruz, meanwhile, who did well in this past weekend's contest, wants to solidify the notion that he is Trump's only real challenger. While Michigan could help clarify that, there is still plenty of reason for Donald Trump to expect a big win in Michigan tonight. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Dearborn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.