Nikki Haley Wins DC GOP Primary, First Victory Before Super Tuesday

Nikki Haley Beats Trump in D.C. GOP Primary, Notching First Victory Ahead of Super Tuesday

Nikki Haley emerged victorious in the Republican primary held in the District of Columbia, marking her inaugural triumph of the 2024 campaign season. This win, secured on Sunday, momentarily interrupts Donald Trump’s dominance in the GOP voting landscape. Nonetheless, Trump is anticipated to amass several hundred more delegates during this week’s Super Tuesday contests.

Despite initial setbacks, Haley has reaffirmed her commitment to persist in the race, at least until the conclusion of these pivotal contests. She has refrained from pinpointing any specific primary where she anticipates victory.

Even after experiencing defeat in her home state of South Carolina, Haley remains steadfast in her belief that voters in subsequent locations deserve an alternative to Trump, notwithstanding his prevailing influence in the campaign thus far.

The Associated Press formally declared Haley’s victory on Sunday night following the release of results by D.C. Republican Party officials. She secured all 19 delegates at stake. Olivia Perez-Cubas, spokesperson for Haley, emphasized the significance of this win by highlighting Haley’s status as the first woman to clinch a Republican primary in history.

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley (Credits: NBC News)

Perez-Cubas attributed this achievement to the rejection of Trump and his tumultuous administration by Republicans in close proximity to the dysfunction of Washington.

Washington, D.C., renowned as one of the nation’s staunchly Democratic territories, boasts only about 23,000 registered Republicans. In the 2020 general election, Democrat Joe Biden overwhelmingly won the district with 92% of the vote.

Trump’s campaign responded to Haley’s victory with a sarcastic statement, facetiously congratulating her as the “Queen of the Swamp,” insinuating her alignment with lobbyists and D.C. insiders preserving the status quo.

Prior to her triumph, Haley conducted a rally in the nation’s capital on Friday before proceeding to North Carolina and other states hosting Super Tuesday primaries. Addressing a gathering of over 100 supporters at a hotel ballroom, Haley jovially remarked, “Who says there’s no Republicans in D.C., come on.” She emphasized the importance of connecting with as many individuals as possible and engaging in meaningful conversations.

During her campaign speeches, Haley consistently criticized Trump for exacerbating the federal deficit. At one rally, an attendee exclaimed, “He cannot win a general election. It’s madness,” a sentiment that Haley echoed, underscoring her belief that she can prevent Biden from securing a second term, whereas Trump cannot.

While branding herself as a staunch conservative, Haley has demonstrated appeal among more moderate and independent-leaning voters. In South Carolina’s GOP primary, four in 10 Haley supporters identified as moderates, contrasting with 15% among Trump supporters. Conversely, 8 in 10 Trump backers identified as conservatives, compared to approximately half of Haley’s supporters.

Trump previously faced an uncontested D.C. primary during his 2020 reelection bid but landed a distant third four years prior, trailing behind Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Rubio’s victory was one of the rare triumphs in his ultimately unsuccessful 2016 campaign.

Past centrist Republicans, including Mitt Romney and John McCain, secured victories in the city’s primaries in 2012 and 2008 en route to clinching the GOP nomination.

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