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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

Trump triumphs over Haley in South Carolina, Indian-American rival vows to continue her bid for White House

So far Donald Trump has won 102 delegates while Nikki Haley, the only major contender to the Republican frontrunner, has just 17 delegates

PTI Charleston Published 25.02.24, 08:11 PM
Donald Trump.

Donald Trump. File picture.

Donald Trump secured a resounding win over his Indian-American rival Nikki Haley in her backyard in South Carolina in the Republican primary, enabling the former US president to move closer to clinching a third straight presidential nomination from his party in 2024.

Refusing to give up, Haley, 52, a two-time former governor of South Carolina on Saturday vowed to take the fight to the Super Tuesday states on March 5 when Republican primaries are scheduled to be held in 21 US states.

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Trump, 77, has now won every contest that counted for Republican delegates, adding to his previous wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and the US Virgin Islands.

The South Carolina primary race was called mere minutes after polls closed. After results were counted, US media outlets said Haley received 39.5 per cent of the vote in the Palmetto State while Trump 59.8 per cent, giving the former president 44 delegates and just three to the former South Carolina state governor.

A candidate needs 1,215 delegates to bag the party's nomination in the November 5, 2024 presidential election. So far, Trump has won 102 delegates while Haley, the only major contender to the Republican frontrunner, has just 17 delegates.

"This was a little sooner than we anticipated, and an even bigger win than we anticipated," Trump told a crowd at his election night watch party in Columbia shortly after being projected the winner.

Saturday’s result now places the onus on Haley, who continued in her concession speech to insist she has no plans to drop out of the race – a move that she said would leave the Republican voters in the upcoming primary states with “a Soviet-style election with only one candidate.” “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,” Haley told supporters in Charleston.

“I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president. I’m a woman of my word. I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” she told her supporters in this historic city, a few blocks away from where she had launched her presidential campaign about a year ago.

“What I saw today was South Carolina’s frustration with our country’s direction. I’ve seen that same frustration nationwide. I share it. I feel it to my core. I couldn’t be more worried for America. It seems like our country is coming apart. But here’s the thing. America will come apart if we make the wrong choices. We need to beat Joe Biden in November,” she said amidst cheers from her supporters.

“I don’t believe Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden. Nearly every day, Trump drives people away, including with his comments just yesterday. Today, in South Carolina, we’re getting around 40 per cent of the vote. That’s about what we got in New Hampshire too.

“I’m an accountant. I know 40 per cent is not 50 per cent. But I also know 40 per cent is not some tiny group. There are huge numbers of voters in our Republican primaries who are saying they want an alternative,” Haley said, making her case for her to continue her battle against Trump.

“South Carolina has spoken. We’re the fourth state to do so. In the next ten days, another 21 states and territories will speak. They have the right to a real choice, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate. And I have a duty to give them that choice. We can’t afford four more years of Biden’s failures or Trump’s lack of focus,” Haley said.

A confident Trump celebrated his victory in Columbia, South Carolina.

“There's never been a spirit like this, and I just want to say that. I have never seen the Republican Party so unified,” he told his cheering supporters. Notably, he did not mention Haley in his speech nor did he ask her to drop from the race.

Haley in his speech in Charleston congratulated Trump on his South Carolina victory.

Trump, who by now has won all four Republican primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, exuded confidence that he would defeat incumbent President Biden in November.

“We’re going to be up here on November 5, and we’re going to look at Joe Biden, and we’re gonna look him right in the eye. He’s destroying our country and we’re gonna say ‘Joe, you’re fired. Get out. Get out, Joe. You’re fired,” Trump said amidst loud applause from his audience.

In her speech, Haley criticised both Biden and Trump.

“Does anyone seriously think Joe Biden or Donald Trump will unite our country to solve our problems? One of them calls his fellow Americans fascists. The other calls his fellow Americans vermin. They aren’t fighting for our country’s future. They’re demanding we fight each other. YOU deserve better!” she said.

“So I will keep fighting - for them and for you and for all of America! I’m running for president to save America," she said.

“I’m grateful that today is not the end of our story. We’re headed to Michigan tomorrow. And we’re headed to the Super Tuesday states throughout all of next week,” Haley said.

Following the South Carolina primary, President Biden said that Trump poses a threat to the country.

“Despite the threat that Trump poses, I will say again to the American people: I have never felt more optimistic about what we can do if we come together," he said.

"Because I know that America believes in standing up for our democracy, fighting for our personal freedoms, and building an economy that gives everyone a fair shot. To Republicans, Democrats, and independents who share our commitment to the core values of our nation, join us. Let’s keep moving forward,” Biden said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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