Haley’s victory came after she was crushed by Trump in caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and at a Republican convention in Michigan

Haley's victory came after she was crushed by Trump in caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and at a Republican convention in Michigan

Team Parvasi – Inside

American presidential candidate Nikki Haley beats Donald Trump in Washington DC for first primary victory
Washington: Indian-American presidential candidate Nikki Haley has won her first Republican nominating contest by defeating rival Donald Trump in Washington DC, injecting new life into her campaign ahead of the crucial Super Tuesday contest.

Haley, 51, received 1,274 votes (62.9 per cent) against 676 votes (33.2 per cent) received by her main rival and former President Trump. Haley will receive all 19 Republican delegates who were up for grabs in Washington DC, giving her 43 delegates nationwide – well behind Trump’s 247.

The contest took place over the weekend in a downtown hotel just steps away from the heart of DC’s lobbying hub. With this, Haley has created history by becoming the first woman ever to win a Republican presidential primary. She is also the first Indian-American to have won either the Democratic or the Republican primaries.

The three other previous Indian American presidential aspirants – Bobby Jindal in 2016, Kamala Harris in 2020 and Vivek Ramaswamy in 2024 – had failed to win even one primary.

Haley, the former US envoy to the UN, lost in South Carolina, her home state. But she is the first woman to win a Republican primary in US history. The former South Carolina governor’s victory came after she was crushed by Trump in caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and at a Republican convention in Michigan on Saturday.

“It’s not surprising that Republicans closest to Washington dysfunction are rejecting Donald Trump and all his chaos,” Haley’s campaign national spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said. However, the Trump campaign said the results showed that Haley is being crowned “Queen of the Swamp.”

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“Tonight’s results in Washington DC reaffirm the object of President Trump’s campaign — he will drain the swamp and put America first,” said Karoline Leavitt, Trump Campaign’s Press Secretary.

“While Nikki has been soundly rejected throughout the rest of America, she was just crowned Queen of the Swamp by the lobbyists and DC insiders who want to protect the failed status quo. The swamp has claimed their queen,” she said.

“Trump will fight for every American who is being let down by these very DC insiders and devastated by Joe Biden’s failures,” Leavitt said. Trump, 77, is likely to face 81-year-old incumbent US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the November 5 election.

Trump has dominated every other early nominating contest and is poised to rack up more delegates on Super Tuesday on March 5. Haley has for weeks pledged to stay in the race through Super Tuesday when 15 states and American Samoa will hold nominating contests.

Super Tuesday is an important new phase of presidential primaries when the early contests are over and voters from multiple states cast ballots in primaries timed to occur on the same date.

Primaries on Tuesday may offer the final opportunity for Haley’s quixotic and lacklustre effort to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Haley’s victory, though a first, did not come as a major surprise. Many in Washington believed the District represented her best, and perhaps only, chance to win a primary.

Trump’s hold on the capital’s Republicans, which counts roughly 22,000 registered voters, has never quite reflected his dominance across the country. Trump won the primary in 2020, running uncontested, but finished third in the 2016 cycle, CNN reported.

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