US: Nikki Haley defeats Donald Trump in Washington DC for first primary victory


Washington, DC, Mar 04: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has defeated former US President Donald Trump in Washington DC in the Republican primary according to The Hill projections on Monday.

Haley garnered 1,274 votes to former President Trump’s 676 with all precincts reporting, according to the US-based newsdaily.

This is her first victory over the former president in the 2024 campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate.

The contest took place in a downtown hotel just steps away from the heart of Washington DC’s lobbying hub over the weekend.

According to Republican party officials, Haley carried nearly 63 per cent of the vote, Poilitico reported.

Nikki Haley’s win in Washington, DC Republican primary came after Trump defeated her in caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and at a Republican convention in Michigan on Saturday. Trump is moving towards the GOP nomination and is favoured to secure win in primaries across 16 Super Tuesday states this week.

The GOP electorate in DC, where Republicans constitute just 5 per cent of registered voters is hardly representative of the conservative base found in majority of the other parts of the US, according to Politico report.

Patrick Mara, chair of the DC Republican Party, said, “This universe is a little more sophisticated than just about any universe in any other state.” He further said, “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.”

Dan Schuberth, who runs a trade association in downtown DC and backed Haley in the primary called his fellow DC Republicans as “a pretty unique electorate,” perhaps the only in the nation where many several voters personally know the people working on one or both of the campaigns.

Voting for the Washington, DC Republican primary took place at the Madison Hotel over three days. On Friday, Haley held a campaign rally there, according to Politico report.

As per the news report, Trump’s prospects to win the DC GOP primary were not high as he was at third spot behind Marco Rubio and John Kasich during the contest in 2016.

This year, Trump’s campaign warned lobbyists DC lobbyists that they will be blacklisted from any future Trump White House access if they did not cast vote in the weekend’s primary.

During her campaign in Massachusetts on Saturday, Haley criticised Trump for the move. She said, “You can’t threaten people. You can’t push them out, because that is not a winning combination.”

Despite her win in the primary on Sunday, Haley has not hinted that she plans to continue her campaign after the contests on Tuesday.

Speaking to a roundtable of DC political reporters on Friday, Haley maintained that she was only “thinking about Super Tuesday,” and not what she plans to do beyond that. She is scheduled to hold a campaign in Texas on Monday. However, she has no public events or election gathering scheduled for Tuesday.

Trump still has an early lead in delegates attained that will likely grow significantly on Tuesday with the additional states voting. Candidates need at least 1,215 delegates to mathematically clinch the Republican nomination, the Hill reported.

All eyes now lie on 16 states that will cast ballots on March 5 which is Super Tuesday. These states are – Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa (caucus), Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Furthermore, American Samoa is also scheduled to hold a nominating contest on March 5.

The Democratic primary in DC will take place in June.__GK News