". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Haley Wins First Republican Primary

March 4, 2024

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has won her first — and so far only — Republican primary, but is still lagging behind former President Donald Trump. On Sunday, Haley garnered nearly 63% of the D.C. vote, while Trump won roughly a third.

Haley and her campaign publicized the fact that she became the only woman to have won a Republican primary, adding, “Republicans closest to Washington’s dysfunction know that Donald Trump has brought nothing but chaos and division for the past 8 years.” Conservative commentator Benny Johnson responded to Haley by saying, “Not sure being a favorite of the DC Swamp is the flex you think it is…” John Rich of the country music duo Big & Rich quipped, “Congrats to Nikki for winning the DC swamp vote! There’s a reason they support her…”

Trump campaign Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt commented, “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 that want to protect the failed status quo. The swamp has claimed their queen.” She added, “President Trump will fight for every American who is being let down by these very DC insiders and devastated by Joe Biden’s failures.”

On his Truth Social platform, Trump said that he “purposely stayed away from the D.C. Vote because it is the ‘Swamp,’” noting that it yields few delegates and has “no upside.”

Haley has notably lost every Republican nominating contest until now, including in her home state of South Carolina. On Saturday, Trump handily won Missouri’s GOP caucus and Idaho’s Republican primary, beating Haley by over 70 percentage points in the Gem State. Less than a week ago, Trump also crushed Haley in Michigan’s primary, scoring more points in the Wolverine State than she did in D.C. and nearly doubling his own 2016 primary results. Michigan’s GOP caucus on Saturday was also dominated by Trump. Previously, the 45th President also won Iowa’s Republican caucus, New Hampshire’s Republican primary, and Nevada’s Republican caucus. He did not participate in the Silver State’s primary, which Haley still managed to lose, placing second behind “none of these candidates.”

After her D.C. victory, Haley now has 43 total delegates, while Trump has 244. Despite only one win so far, Haley has indicated that she will not drop out before Super Tuesday, when about 900 delegates will be up for grabs across Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. Via Truth Social, Trump commented, “Over the weekend we won Missouri, Idaho, and Michigan — BIG NUMBERS — Complete destruction of a very weak opponent. The really big numbers will come on Super Tuesday.” According to polling aggregator Five-Thirty-Eight, Trump is leading Haley nationally 77% to 14%.

With Trump predicted to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Haley is also arguing she is not bound to honor a Republican National Committee (RNC) pledge she made to endorse the Party’s eventual nominee. In a “Meet The Press” appearance on Sunday, NBC anchor Kristen Welker asked the GOP contender, “Have you moved to a place where you’re no longer planning to endorse him?” Haley replied that she doesn’t “think like that” because she doesn’t “think about losing,” although she added, “I don’t think Donald Trump or Joe Biden should be president.”

Welker reminded Haley that she had signed an agreement with the RNC to endorse the eventual nominee, asking, “Do you still feel bound by that pledge?” Haley initially responded, “I have always said that I have serious concerns about Donald Trump.” She went on to explain that she only signed the RNC pledge “in order to get on that debate stage” and added, “The RNC is now not the same RNC. Now it’s Trump’s daughter-in-law.” When pressed whether she would honor her pledge, Haley stated, “No, I think I’ll make what decision I want to make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about.”

Trump, who did not participate in the Republican debates and thus did not sign the RNC pledge, has been endorsed by numerous Republicans, including many of his former fellow GOP presidential contenders, from both 2016 and 2024. The former president has been endorsed by friends like neurosurgeon and former cabinet official Dr. Ben Carson, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn, 33 sitting U.S. senators, 160 sitting U.S. representatives, 14 current governors, and hundreds of others. Haley has managed to snag two Senate endorsements, from pro-abortion Republicans Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine). She has also been endorsed by governors Phil Scott (R-Vt.) and moderates like Chris Sununu (R-N.H.), as well as former governors Larry Hogan and Asa Hutchinson.

North Dakota will host its Republican caucus on Monday. It is the last Republican nominating contest ahead of Super Tuesday. North Dakota’s is a winner-takes-all event, provided at least one contender garners 60% of the vote or more. Incumbent governor Doug Burgum (R) has endorsed Trump.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.