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Nikki Haley secures first campaign win of 2024

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Mar 2024, 4:10PM
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley greets a supporter after voting on Saturday, February 24 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley greets a supporter after voting on Saturday, February 24 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Nikki Haley secures first campaign win of 2024

Author
AP,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Mar 2024, 4:10PM

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

Her victory on Sunday at least temporarily halts Donald Trump’s sweep of the GOP voting contests, although the former president is likely to pick up several hundred more delegates in this week’s Super Tuesday races.

Despite her early losses, Haley has said she would remain in the race at least through those contests, although she has declined to name any primary she felt confident she would win. Following last week’s loss in her home state of South Carolina, she remained adamant that voters in the places that followed deserved an alternative to Trump despite his dominance thus far in the campaign.

The Associated Press declared Haley the winner on Sunday night after D.C. Republican Party officials released the results. She won all 19 delegates at stake.

Washington is one of the most heavily Democratic jurisdictions in the nation, with only about 23,000 registered Republicans in the city. Democrat Joe Biden won the district in the 2020 general election with 92 per cent of the vote.

Trump issued a statement shortly after Haley’s victory sarcastically congratulating her on being named “Queen of the Swamp by the lobbyists and DC insiders that want to protect the failed status quo.”

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley greets a supporter after voting on Saturday, February 24 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley greets a supporter after voting on Saturday, February 24 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Haley held a rally in the nation’s capital on Friday before heading back to North Carolina and a series of states holding Super Tuesday primaries. She joked with more than 100 supporters inside a hotel ballroom, “Who says there’s no Republicans in D.C., come on.

“We’re trying to make sure that we touch every hand that we can and speak to every person,” Haley said.

As she gave her standard campaign speech, criticising Trump for running up the federal deficit, one rallygoer bellowed, “He cannot win a general election. It’s madness.” That prompted agreement from Haley, who argues that she can deny Biden a second term but Trump can’t.

Trump update.avif [avif-to-jpg output image]
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina on February 24. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

While campaigning as an avowed conservative, Haley has tended to perform better among more moderate and independent-leaning voters.

Four in 10 Haley supporters in South Carolina’s GOP primary were self-described moderates, compared with 15 per cent for Trump, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 2400 voters taking part in the Republican primary in South Carolina, conducted for AP by NORC at the University of Chicago. On the other hand, eight in 10 Trump supporters identified as conservatives, compared to about half of Haley’s backers.

Trump won an uncontested D.C. primary during his 2020 re-election bid but placed a distant third four years earlier behind Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Rubio’s win was one of only three in his unsuccessful 2016 bid. Other more centrist Republicans, including Mitt Romney and John McCain, won the city’s primaries in 2012 and 2008 on their way to winning the GOP nomination.

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