Updated March 4th, 2024 at 08:14 IST

Nikki Haley Wins Her First Republican Primary in Washington DC

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley won her first state primaries to bag the ticket for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley | Image:AP
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Washington DC – Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley won her first Republican primaries to bag the ticket for the GOP presidential nomination. The former US Ambassador to the UN notched a victory in the primaries held in Washington DC. According to the projections reported by the Associated Press, Haley won 62.8% of votes, beating Former US President Donald Trump who just received 33.3% votes. The Indian-origin Republican presidential hopeful's victory came a day after she was crushed by Trump in the Missouri and Idaho caucuses and at a Republican convention held in Michigan on Saturday. 

Many believe that Haley's recent victory will provide a major boost to her campaign as the country heads towards Super Tuesday where 15 states and American Samoa will hold nominating contests. It is important to note that the former US President was never popular among the moderate Republicans living in Washington. The former US President got 14% of the vote in Washington’s 2016 primary. It is also important to note that the GOP electorate in DC only makes up 5 per cent of registered voters. Hence, it is hardly representative of the conservative base found in most other parts of the country. 

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“This universe is a little more sophisticated than just about any universe in any other state,” said Patrick Mara, chair of the DC Republican Party. “I listen to the political podcasts in the morning. I read the newsletters throughout the day. That’s probably, like, half the people showing up at this," Mara added. Despite the win, Haley still faces near-impossible odds of bagging the Republican nomination since, Trump has already garnered a massive share of delegates by winning the first eight nominating contests by significant margins.

Haley pledges to stay in the race

Despite her early losses, the former Governor of South Carolina has maintained that she would stay in the race. On Friday, Haley held a rally in the nation's capital before heading back to North Carolina and a series of states which will be holding Super Tuesday primaries. At the rally in the national capital, she gave a standard campaign speech and criticised Trump for “running up the federal deficit”. “He cannot win a general election. It’s madness," one of the attendees yelled during the meeting. Meanwhile, shortly after Haley's win, Trump issued a sarcastic statement. “Queen of the Swamp by the lobbyists and DC insiders that want to protect the failed status quo," he remarked.

According to Politico, voting for the DC primary ran over three days at the Madison Hotel, and Haley herself held a campaign rally there on Friday. Despite clutching her first win, Haley has still not signalled that she will be running her campaign beyond Tuesday's contest. While speaking to a roundtable of DC political reporters Friday morning, Haley maintained that she was only “ thinking about Super Tuesday,” and not what she plans to do beyond that. On Monday, the former South Carolina governor is scheduled to campaign in Texas. However, no public events or election night gatherings have been scheduled by Haley's campaign for Tuesday.  

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 07:25 IST