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


Trump Wins GOP Primary in Haley’s Home State

February 26, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has defeated fellow GOP presidential primary contender Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina. Trump took the Palmetto State Saturday night with nearly 60% of the vote while Haley, the state’s former governor, claimed less than 40% of the vote. This follows Trump dominating the GOP primary field in IowaNew Hampshire, and Nevada. The Associated Press called the South Carolina primary for Trump within minutes of polls closing, based on the strength of exit polling alone.

“This was a little sooner than we anticipated, an even bigger win than we anticipated,” Trump said onstage as the race was called in his favor. The former president went on to blast President Joe Biden’s mismanagement of the border crisis, saying, “We don’t want that in our country, we’re not going to stand for it, we’re not going to stand for it. You have terrorists coming in, you have people coming in that — we just can’t do this. No country could sustain what’s happening to the United States of America.” He pledged that, if reelected, he would “straighten things out.”

“We have a country that is a failing nation, but we’re not going to have a failing nation very long,” Trump added. “We are not going to allow this to happen. We love our country, we love it dearly. We’re going to fight for our country, we’re going to fight for our rights.”

Referring to his 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, Trump also commented on his current campaign’s momentum, saying, “Now there’s a spirit that I have never seen. We ran two great races, but there’s never been — ever — there’s never been a spirit like this. And I just want to say that I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now.” Trump was joined onstage by Haley’s successor as governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster (R), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who was appointed to the Senate by Haley but chose to endorse Trump.

During her own speech Saturday night, Haley said, “I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory.” Her audience booed. “We need to beat Joe Biden in November. I don’t believe Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden,” she added. Referring to the less-than-40% share of the vote she received in the primary, Haley commented, “There are huge numbers of voters in our Republican primaries who are saying they want an alternative. I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president.”

However, Haley’s financial backers are now distancing themselves from her failing campaign. On Sunday, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Action, billionaire Charles Koch’s political advocacy organization, issued a memo to staff announcing it will no longer be funding Haley’s campaign. “With the South Carolina presidential primary this weekend and the Senate engagement really heating up, it’s time to take stock of where we are and — as we always do — make sure we’re optimizing our resources for maximum impact towards our goals,” the memo read. While AFP Action reiterated its endorsement of Haley still stands, the memo stated, “But given the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don’t believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory. And so while we will continue to endorse her, we will focus our resources where we can make the difference. And that’s the U.S. Senate and House.”

AFP Action reportedly sank over $31 million into Haley’s 2024 campaign and has spent nearly $10 million campaigning against Trump. The organization has actually spent more money campaigning against Trump than against Biden.

Despite losing every Republican primary and caucus so far and even placing second to “none of these candidates” in Nevada, Haley has pledged to remain in the race until Super Tuesday on March 5. Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney had previously stated, “After Super Tuesday, we will have a very good picture of where this race stands. At that point, millions of Americans in 26 states and territories will have voted. Until then, everyone should take a deep breath.” In her speech Saturday night, Haley announced she was heading to Michigan to campaign ahead of Super Tuesday.

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