Nikki Haley wins DC primary, marking first primary loss for Trump

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks about abortion at the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, April 25, 2023.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks about abortion at the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, April 25, 2023. | The Christian Post/Nicole Alcindor

Former President Donald Trump experienced his first loss in a Republican presidential primary over the weekend, even though he remains the overwhelming favorite to capture the GOP nomination for president.

Former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defeated Trump in Washington, D.C.’s Republican presidential primary over the weekend, securing all 19 delegates up for grabs.

According to unofficial results compiled by The Green Papers, which tracks presidential primaries and caucuses, Haley captured 62.76% of the vote in the primary, while Trump won just 33.3%. 

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Haley’s victory comes as Trump has dominated every other Republican primary held so far and amassed an overwhelming lead in the delegate count.

The Green Papers reports that Trump has secured 247 delegates while Haley will have at least 43 delegates pledged to support her at the Republican National Convention that will determine the GOP’s presidential nominee. It will take 1,226 delegates for a candidate to win the Republican nomination for president. 

In the nationwide popular vote, Trump has beaten Haley by a nearly 2-1 margin so far. Trump has received 63.9% of the vote in the states that have held nominating contests while Haley has won 31.69%. 

The District of Columbia was not the only jurisdiction to hold a Republican presidential nominating contest this weekend.

Idaho held a Republican caucus Saturday, where Trump won 84.89% of the popular vote and secured all 32 of the state’s delegates. Trump also won the Missouri Republican caucus Saturday, securing all 54 of the state’s delegates. 

So far, nine states and territories have held Republican presidential nominating contests.

In January, Trump won the Iowa caucuses with about 51% of the vote, earning him 20 delegates. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the second-place finisher, received 21.3% of the vote and nine delegates. He dropped out of the race less than a week later. Haley captured 19.07% of the vote and walked away with eight delegates. Fourth-place finisher Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out after earning 7.64% of the vote and three delegates. 

The New Hampshire Republican presidential primary took place a week later. Trump, who won with 54.35% of the vote, received 13 delegates from the contest, while Haley captured 43.28% and secured nine delegates. Nevada had precinct caucuses early last month, which resulted in Trump winning 99.11% of the vote and all 26 of the state’s delegates.

Haley opted to forego the caucus and instead participate in Nevada’s nonbinding primary, where she won 30.63% of the vote against the 63.26% secured by “none of these candidates.” 

The Feb. 8 Virgin Islands Territorial Caucus resulted in Trump beating Haley 74.21% to 25.79% and picking up all four delegates up for grabs. In the South Carolina primary last weekend, Trump won 59.79% of the vote and 47 delegates to Haley’s 39.52% of the vote and three delegates. In the Michigan primary last week, Trump won 68.16% of the vote and 51 delegates, while Haley received 26.56% of the vote and four delegates. 

By the end of this week, nearly half of the U.S. states will have held Republican presidential primaries or caucuses, with North Dakota slated to hold Republican presidential caucuses Monday and GOP voters in 15 states scheduled to select their preferred candidates on Super Tuesday: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Nearly half of the delegates will have been allocated as well. 

Even as the primary season continues for three more months, Trump remains the favorite to capture the Republican nomination for the third presidential election in a row. The RealClearPolitics average of polls measuring GOP voters’ opinions between Feb. 13 and 28 shows that 78.7% favor Trump while just 15.3% prefer Haley. 

The winner of the Republican presidential primary contests will likely face President Joe Biden in the general election. Like Trump, Biden faces primary challengers in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. But so far, those challengers have not seriously threatened his renomination. The RealClearPolitics average of polls conducted between Feb. 5 and Feb. 28 shows Biden beating Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., by 66 points. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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