Michigan’s primary winners in past presidential contests

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Michigan is a crucial general election battleground state.

But the Midwestern state will also play a crucial role in the battle between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

With 125 pledged delegates at stake, Michigan’s the biggest prize among the six states holding primaries on Tuesday, March 10.

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Polls will be open in Michigan starting at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m local time. The state does not allow early voting, but, thanks to a new law, allows all residents to vote early by absentee ballot without an excuse needed.

The state holds an open primary, meaning that a person does not have to register with a political party to vote in that party’s primary. And with all the action in the Democrats’ primary, expect independents and some Republicans to cast ballots in the Democratic race.

Sanders - who’s making his second straight presidential run – narrowly defeated eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary in the state, thanks to a last-minute upset win.

That foreshadowed Clinton’s narrow loss to Donald Trump in the November 2016 general election in Michigan. Trump’s victory with working-class white voters in the state, as well as narrow wins in two other crucial Rust Belt states -- Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- propelled him into the White House.

Here's a look at recent past winners in Michigan:

2016

DEM: Bernie Sanders 50 percent; Hillary Clinton 48 percent

GOP: Donald Trump 37 percent; Ted Cruz 25 percent; John Kasich 24 percent; Marco Rubio 9 percent

2012

GOP: Romney 41 percent; Santorum 38 percent; Paul 12 percent; Gingrich 7 percent

2008

DEM: Hillary Clinton 55 percent; Uncommitted 40 percent

(Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards removed their names from the ballot because Michigan broke party rules by moving their primary date up without party permission)

GOP: Romney 39 percent; McCain 30 precent; Huckabee 16 percent; Paul 6 percent