Nikki Haley beats Trump to become first woman to win a Republican primary

Republican presidential nomination candidate Nikki Haley smiles while wearing a red outfit as she stands in front of podium with her name on it

US presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has made history as the first woman to win a Republican primary after emerging victorious over Donald Trump in Washington DC. 

Former South Carolina governor Haley took nearly 63 per cent of the GOP primary vote on Sunday (3 March), compared to the 33 per cent secured by Trump. As a result, the former UN ambassador received the district’s 19 delegates.

Haley’s campaign heralded the historic win in the nation’s capital. 

“It’s not surprising that Republicans closest to Washington dysfunction are rejecting Donald Trump and all his chaos,” Haley campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said in a statement.

Haley added in a post on X/Twitter that she is going to “fight for every inch” in the Republican presidential nomination race. 

Many women have run for president in US history, but Nikki Haley is the first to ever win a Republican presidential primary or caucus.

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In 1872, women’s rights and suffrage advocate Victoria Claflin Woodhull became the first woman to run for US president. 

Nearly a century later, in 1964, Republican politician Margaret Chase Smith went down in history as the first woman to have her name placed into the nomination for president. She was also the first woman to serve in both houses of the US Congress. 

Nikki Haley’s Washington DC victory also represented her first triumph over Trump in the Republican party’s primary polls. 

Still, the registered Republican presence in Washington DC, a traditionally very Democrat-leaning district, is very small. Just over 2,000 people voted in the GOP primary, in a city that’s home to nearly 679,000 residents

Nikki Haley still faces near-impossible odds in her quest to win the Republican nomination over Trump for the 2024 presidential election. 

The 19 delegates from her win in the district is only a small portion of the at least 1,215 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. 

Washingon DC aside, Donald Trump has won every other presidential contest in which he’s appeared on the ballot and earned 122 delegates. 

He’s expected to shore up even more support and clinch the GOP nomination soon after Super Tuesday, which takes place tomorrow (5 March).

Super Tuesday, traditionally one of the most important dates on the US political calendar, is the day when the largest number of states hold their presidential primaries and caucuses. 

During this Super Tuesday, 874 of the Republican Party’s 2,429 delegates (about 36 per cent) will be up for grabs. 

Donald Trump appeared nonplussed about Nikki Haley’s Washington DC win. In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, the former president said he “purposely stayed away” from the district “because it is the ‘swamp’ with very few delegates and no upside”. 

He then called Haley a “loser” with a “record low performance in virtually every state”. 

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