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Republican Primary: Trump wins South Carolina

Republican Primary: Trump wins South Carolina

After counting about 80% of the votes, former President Donald Trump leads by about 20% over his rival, Nikki Haley. She wants to keep fighting.

Former US President Donald Trump also won the primary election for the Republican presidential nomination in South Carolina. Trump, 77 years old, has already emerged victorious in the previous primaries in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Trump's rival Nikki Haley, who was previously the conservative state governor in the southeastern United States, was defeated in South Carolina as expected, but the 52-year-old does not want to withdraw from the race.

Trump and Haley fought another duel in South Carolina for their party's nomination in the presidential elections scheduled for November 5. With about 80% of the votes counted, Trump led by about 60% and was about 20 percentage points ahead of Haley, who had reached nearly 40%. Anyone who wants to become a presidential candidate in the United States must first win internal party primaries. Candidates are formally selected at party congresses in the summer. The Republican Party nominating convention is scheduled to be held in mid-July.

40% “not a small group”

In internal party primaries, the number of delegate votes varies by party and state. How primaries are conducted varies from state to state. Both Democrats and Republicans follow their own system. In South Carolina, party supporters decided to choose their preferred candidate at the polls on Saturday. In a few other states, voting takes place in small party meetings, called caucuses.

After the vote in South Carolina, Haley appeared serious but combative. She said she promised to stay in the race no matter what happens in South Carolina. “I'm a woman of my word,” Haley said. She said 40% of the vote is “not a small group,” and there is a large number of Republican voters who want a real alternative to Trump. South Carolina is only the fourth state where the decision has been made. Decisions will be made in several other states in the next 10 days.

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There is no home advantage for Haley

Haley, who is considered more politically moderate and more moderate in rhetoric than Trump, had hoped to gain an advantage on her home turf in South Carolina. The 52-year-old was the first woman to serve as governor of the state in which she was born from 2011 to 2017. South Carolina is approximately the same size as Austria and has a population of more than five million people. About a quarter of the population is black. The South Carolina primary was the first vote held in a southern US state.

Trump was about 30 percentage points ahead of Haley in opinion polls in South Carolina. In national opinion polls, he leads by a greater margin. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Haley was given little chance of eventually defeating Trump. Now special attention is paid to March 5, which is called Super Tuesday. On this day, Republican primaries will be held simultaneously in 15 states.

The result was earlier than expected

When polling stations in South Carolina closed, several American radio stations declared Trump's victory, citing their own predictions. “This was a little faster than we expected, and it was a bigger victory than we expected,” Trump told cheering supporters in his victory speech just minutes later. He added that there had “never been such a mood” before, and that the Republican Party had “never been as united as it is now.”

Trump's victory in Haley's home state confirms Republican support among the party's base. Despite his legal problems, he has not lost his popularity among his supporters. There are four criminal cases against him, including for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

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The victory in South Carolina increases the possibility of Trump running for the Republican Party in the presidential elections scheduled for November. So far, everything points to another duel between him and current President Biden. (APA/DPA)

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