South Carolina primary: Donald Trump easily defeats Nikki Haley in her home state

Donald Trump is one step closer to the Republican presidential nomination after a massive win over Nikki Haley in South Carolina.

The former president won his primary opponent’s home state by a 20-point margin, his fourth consecutive victory.As he celebrated Mr Trump made no mention of Ms Haley, who vowed to stay in the race. Instead he set his sights on the general election in November.That will be a likely rematch with his successor in the White House.”We’re going to look Joe Biden right in the eye,” he told supporters minutes after US media projected him as the winner on Saturday night. “He’s destroying our country – and we’re going to say ‘get out Joe, you’re fired’.”

Mr Trump lauded his party’s “unity” after Saturday’s result, saying: “There’s never been a spirit like this. I have never seen the Republican Party so unified.”It marked a shift from his response to last month’s primary in New Hampshire, where he raged against Ms Haley for “doing a speech like she won”.Ms Haley, who once served as a popular two-term governor of South Carolina, congratulated her opponent on his victory in her speech.She promised not to quit, however, saying the roughly 40% of the vote she received was “not some tiny group”.”There are huge numbers of voters in our Republican primaries who are saying they want an alternative,” she said, emphasising that her continued campaign was not about her own political ambitions.”I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” she added.She has re-committed to staying in the race until at least Super Tuesday – 5 March – when voters in 16 states will cast their ballots on the same day.”I’m a woman of my word,” the former UN ambassador said. “We’re headed to Michigan tomorrow, and we’re headed to the Super Tuesday states throughout all of next week.”

The Trump campaign dismissed Ms Haley’s continued effort in a statement on Saturday, stating that her “delusion is clouding her judgement, and she is no longer living in reality”.The Trump campaign has predicted the former president will accumulate enough delegates to formally clinch the nomination within the next month.Ms Haley does not have a clear path forward – her opponent has a large lead in the delegate count and is polling far ahead in all future contests.And yet the Haley campaign is still standing, in large part due to contributions from deep-pocketed donors. That flow of cash has continued despite her facing long odds.Ms Haley raised $16.5m in January alone, campaign officials said. That was her largest monthly total so far, and much more than Mr Trump’s numbers.

Source: BBC NEWS

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