Nikki Haley crushes Donald Trump with Washington Republican primary triumph

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Republican presidential candidate and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gestures, as she hosts a campaign event in South Burlington, Vermont, US March 3, 2024. — Reuters
Republican presidential candidate and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gestures, as she hosts a campaign event in South Burlington, Vermont, US March 3, 2024. — Reuters 

Nikki Haley has won the Washington, DC Republican primary, marking her first victory in the nominating process and a symbolic win for the former United States ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley won 62.9% of the vote, compared to 33.2% garnered by former US president Donald Trump, Reuters reported.

"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 was the first woman to win a Republican primary in US history, her campaign said.

She still faces near-impossible odds of winning the Republican nomination to face Democratic nominee President Joe Biden in November.

Trump won the first eight nominating contests before losing to Haley in Washington, DC, and is expected to win almost all contests in the future, opinion polls show.

Washington, a predominantly urban city, has a high percentage of college-educated residents while Trump's base is predominantly rural, with a strong presence in low-educated areas.

Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally tonight in Richmond, Virginia, US March 2, 2024. — Reuters
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally tonight in Richmond, Virginia, US March 2, 2024. — Reuters

The city also houses numerous federal workers, whom Trump allies have pledged to fire and replace with loyalists if he wins in November.

Some federal workers in the city that Trump refers to as the "swamp" have faced increased death threats.

"I purposely stayed away from the D.C. Vote because it is the 'Swamp,' with very few delegates, and no upside," Trump said in a post on his platform, Truth Social.

Super Tuesday, a significant day in the presidential primary, will see 874 Republican delegates up for grabs in 15 states and one US territory.

The Democratic primary in Washington will be held in June.