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Nikki Haley Wins DC GOP Primary        03/04 06:38

   

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the 
District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

   Her victory 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 her loss in her home state of South 
Carolina, Haley 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 Sunday night after D.C. 
Republican Party officials released the results. She won all 19 delegates at 
stake.

   "It's not surprising that Republicans closest to Washington dysfunction are 
rejecting Donald Trump and all his chaos," Haley spokesperson Olivia 
Perez-Cubas said in a statement, noting that Haley became the first woman to 
win a Republican primary in history.

   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% of the vote.

   Trump's campaign 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."

   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, criticizing Trump for running up 
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.

   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% for Trump, according to AP 
VoteCast, a survey of more than 2,400 voters taking part in the Republican 
primary in South Carolina, conducted for AP by NORC at the University of 
Chicago. On the other hand, 8 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 reelection 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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