Haley to win DC GOP primary, CNN projects


Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will win the Republican presidential nomination Headquartered in Washington, DC, CNN projects, after three days of voting at the party's only capital polling station — a downtown hotel.

Haley's victory — her first in the primary — comes ahead of what is expected to be a decisive week in the GOP primary, as she tries to make one last stand as the race turns national. Former President Donald Trump has dominated all other primary nomination races and is poised to pick up more delegates on Super Tuesday.

“It's no surprise that Republicans close to the Washington dysfunction are rejecting Donald Trump and his mess,” Haley spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubaz said in a statement, adding that the former governor was the first woman to win the GOP presidential nomination.

Haley's win, despite being her first, didn't come as a huge surprise. Many in Washington believed the district represented his best and only chance for a primary victory. Trump's hold on the capital's GOP, which has about 22,000 registered voters, has never mirrored his dominance nationwide. Trump won the 2020 primary, running unopposed and finishing third in the 2016 cycle. Haley held an event with local GOP leaders on Friday, a clear sign of optimism.

The Trump campaign, in a statement, tried to turn Haley's win into a loss.

“Tonight's results in Washington DC reaffirm the message of President Trump's campaign — that he will drain the swamp and put America first,” Trump press secretary Carolyn Leavitt said. “The swamp has claimed their queen.”

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Republicans will forget about Washington for now, at least in the upcoming general election. Biden won 2020 with more than 92% of the vote. The district has never supported a Republican presidential candidate. The GOP's high water mark came in 1972 when Richard Nixon won a landslide re-election with just over 21%.

This story has been updated with additional reaction.

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