Nikki Haley wins D.C. primary, her first victory in GOP race newsbhunt

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Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley won her first contest in the Republican presidential nomination race on Sunday after triumphing in Washington, D.C.’s primary. It won’t likely change the contest’s trajectory.

After three days of voting, polls in the Washington race closed at 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Though only 19 delegates were stake, Haley perhaps had her best chance of defeating Trump in a race where he performed poorly in the last competitive GOP presidential contest in 2016. That year, Trump lost the D.C. primary to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — a rare defeat for Trump in that GOP race.

Unlike Trump, Haley campaigned in Washington ahead of the primary, visiting the city on Friday.

The Washington primary was small in size compared to other states, and Republicans in D.C. cast ballots at the Madison Hotel. The election was managed by the D.C. GOP.

According to the D.C. GOP, the weekend election was held at “the earliest possible time under party rules.” A GOP June primary in D.C. — when Democrats will hold their own primary — would have violated the national GOP’s rules, which prohibit primaries meant to allocate delegates to the Republican National Convention from happening less than 45 days before the convention is held on July 15. This means party chapters have to hold their primaries by May 31, 2024.

The Washington contest took place after Trump racked up three wins over the weekend in Missouri, Michigan and Idaho.

Michigan Republican officials and other preselected party members awarded Trump all 39 of the delegates up for grabs at their caucus convention in Grand Rapids. The former president also won most of the 16 delegates that were allotted based on Michigan’s statewide primary earlier in the week. Trump won every delegate in Idaho’s caucuses as well, and the Associated Press projected a victory for him in Missouri, as Republican voters across the two states made their selection at party-run meetings.

Before Washington’s primary on Sunday, Trump had 244 delegates compared to just 24 for Haley.

That’s a daunting edge as the two Republicans head into Super Tuesday on March 5, when 15 states vote and a third of GOP delegates are at stale. Despite polling drastically behind Trump, Haley has promised to stay in the Republican primary until at least Super Tuesday. It’s unclear what she’ll do after that point.

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