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What to expect in Indiana's presidential and state primaries today

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The race for the White House tops the ballot Tuesday in Indiana's presidential and state primaries, but voters will also have to settle more competitive contests for governor, Congress and the state legislature.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump already have enough delegates to secure their respective parties' presidential nominations and have both won almost every primary and caucus by overwhelming margins. The presumptive nominees have nonetheless faced ongoing protest votes in recent contests that won't upend their primary campaigns but have raised questions about voter discontent heading into the November general election.

What are the options for president on the ballot?

Biden is the sole option in the Democratic primary, so Indiana voters won't be able to cast their votes for another candidate or for "uncommitted." In last week's Pennsylvania primary, Biden won with about 88% of the vote, but write-in ballots comprised almost 6% of the vote, up from the roughly 2% to 3% cast for write-ins in the last three Democratic Pennsylvania presidential primaries. Progressive activists in the commonwealth organized a campaign to cast write-in votes for "uncommitted" in protest of the Biden administration's position on the war in Gaza.

Trump is the only active candidate in the Republican primary, but the other option on the ballot, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, has continued to receive a sizable share of the vote in recent contests despite suspending her campaign in early March. She received almost 17% of the vote in the April 23 Pennsylvania primary, which Trump still easily won with 83% of the vote.

Indiana is not expected to be competitive in the presidential election. Trump carried the state twice with 57% of the vote. In the last 21 presidential elections, only two Democrats have won Indiana: Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Barack Obama in 2008.

Race to watch:  Crowded field for governor

Also on Tuesday, Indiana voters will decide a crowded six-way Republican primary to replace term-limited GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb. The field features first-term U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who has Trump's backing, former state Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, former state economic official Eric Doden, former state Attorney General Curtis Hill and conservative activist Jamie Reitenour.

With Braun running for governor, Republicans have coalesced behind U.S. Rep. Jim Banks to replace him in the U.S. Senate. His Democratic opponent in November will be either former state representative and trade association executive Marc Carmichael or psychologist Valerie McCray.

Races to watch:  U.S. House districts

The most notable of the U.S. House races on the ballot Tuesday are competitive Republican primaries in the 3rd Congressional District, which Banks is giving up to run for Senate, as well as the 5th, 6th and 8th Districts.

Half of Indiana's 50 state Senate seats and all 100 state House seats are also up for election this year.

Here's a look at what to expect on Tuesday:

Indiana's presidential and state primaries will be held Tuesday. The last polls close at 7 p.m. ET, although most polls close at 6 p.m. ET. Indiana is in both the Eastern and the Central time zones.

Indiana has an open primary system, which means any registered voter may participate in either party's primary.

Indiana's 79 pledged Democratic delegates are allocated according to the national party's standard rules. Since Biden is the only option on the ballot, he will win all 79 delegates.

There are 58 delegates at stake in the Republican presidential primary. Thirty-eight delegates will be awarded to the winner of the statewide vote. Twenty-seven delegates will be allocated according to the vote in each of the state's nine congressional districts. The top vote-getter in a congressional district will be awarded three delegates from that district.

In the race for governor, Braun has the most recent history of winning a high-profile statewide Republican primary with his 2018 win over then-U.S. Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer. In that contest, Braun had an 11-percentage-point margin of victory over Rokita, though far below the 50% mark. Braun carried about two-thirds of the state's 92 counties, including the most populous county of Marion. Rokita narrowly carried Lake County and parts of western Indiana. Messer carried much of southeastern Indiana. Trump carried almost every county in the contested 2016 presidential primary, as well as in two general elections, so his endorsement will likely give Braun a boost.

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