Trump Victorious in South Carolina, Defeats Haley in Home State

trump and haley

Donald Trump has won a significant victory in the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential primaries, defeating Nikki Haley, the former United Nations Ambassador, in her home state of South Carolina.

Following the closure of polls on Saturday evening, The Associated Press and other US media outlets promptly announced Trump’s win in the state’s GOP primary.

While final results are pending, Trump is currently leading with 59.7 percent compared to Haley’s 39.7 percent, with approximately half of the expected vote counted, according to Edison Research.

Addressing supporters at an election night gathering in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, the former president shifted focus to the upcoming general election in November. He pledged that if re-elected, the US would experience unprecedented levels of respect on the global stage.

“There’s an unparalleled spirit right now,” Trump remarked. “I’ve never witnessed the Republican Party as united as it is today.”

Despite facing numerous civil and criminal cases, Trump has maintained a firm hold on the Republican caucus, winning every state contest thus far. His victory in South Carolina increases the likelihood of a rematch against Democratic rival President Joe Biden in November.

Reporting from South Carolina, Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi noted Trump’s omission of Haley’s name during his victory speech.

“That’s likely to be the strategy moving forward,” Rattansi observed. “This campaign is all about Biden.”

Meanwhile, Haley, who served as South Carolina’s governor from 2011 to 2017, has vowed to continue her campaign at least until the Super Tuesday contests on March 5, when 15 US states and a territory hold their primaries.

“I stated earlier this week that, regardless of the outcome in South Carolina, I would persist in running for president,” Haley declared in a speech to supporters in Charleston following her defeat. “I stand by my word.”

Her determination elicited chants of “Nikki! Nikki!” from the crowd.

“I’m not abandoning this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” Haley asserted. “South Carolina has spoken as the fourth state to do so. Over the next 10 days, another 21 states and territories will have their say. They deserve a genuine choice, not a one-candidate election reminiscent of Soviet-style politics. And it’s my duty to provide them with that choice.”

Haley announced her intention to travel to Michigan on Sunday, just before the state’s Republican primary on February 27. Afterward, her campaign will shift focus to Super Tuesday states like Minnesota, Vermont, and Colorado.

However, the former UN ambassador faces slim chances of securing the Republican Party nomination, with the party largely aligning itself with Trump.

Even in her home state, Haley struggled to garner significant political endorsements. Only one Republican representative from South Carolina, Ralph Norman, supported her over Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump celebrated his victory in South Carolina alongside his supporters, including both senators from South Carolina, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, as well as the state’s governor.

Trump had recently delivered a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, the largest annual gathering for conservatives in the nation.

During his 90-minute speech, Trump focused largely on criticizing President Biden, accusing him of presiding over the country’s decline. He claimed that defeating Biden in November would mark a “judgment day” for the US and serve as his “ultimate and absolute revenge.”

In response, Biden has warned that the former Republican president poses a threat to the country.

Last month, Biden characterized Trump and his followers as dangerous outliers, urging Democrats, independents, and “mainstream Republicans” who value US democracy to support him.

“Democracy is on the ballot. Your freedom is on the ballot,” Biden emphasized.

Trump is currently facing four separate criminal indictments, including two related to his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Biden.

His first criminal trial, concerning charges of falsifying business documents in connection to hush-money payments, is scheduled to commence on March 25 in New York City.

Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing in all the cases, dismissing them as politically motivated attacks.