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Nikki Haley clutches Vermont away from Trump on Super Tuesday–But halts campaign nevertheless

Former UN ambassador and Republican runner-up for the 2024 US presidential elections, Nikki Haley, won a monumental victory at the Republican presidential primaries in Vermont on Super Tuesday against fellow partisan Donald Trump and became the first woman in Republican history to win a primary or caucus. Regardless, she suffered a major defeat in the broader scope and is planning to halt her campaign pull out of the elections altogether. Eyes have now turned to her supporters.


What is Super Tuesday?

The United States political scene is dominated by two opposing forces, The Democratic Party and The Republican Party. Each year during February and March, 50 States, Washington DC, and outer US territories hold primary elections to determine the presidential candidates from these parties in the form of either primaries or caucuses. Third parties also hold primaries; however, the two-party system keeps Democrat and Republican elections front and center. The day when the greatest number of US states, currently 15 states and one territory, hold their primary elections is called the Super Tuesday. More delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other day; thus, the results of Super Tuesday are a strong indicator of each party’s eventual presidential candidate—officially decided at the National Convention. Most candidates drop out of the competition for the next president if they underperform or fail to amass a substantial base on Super Tuesday.


This year, Super Tuesday was held on March 5th. The states that participated in the 2024 Super Tuesday for the Republican primaries are as follows: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia—alongside US—territorialized Samoa. All except Alaska held their Democrat primaries on the same day.


Nikki Haley’s Vermont Victory

Nikki Haley secured a record after she clinched Vermont by 4 points against fellow Republican Donald Trump on Super Tuesday, two days after she won all delegates at the DC primaries on Sunday; thus, she became the first woman to win a state at the US Republican Primary Elections. The former South Carolina governor and former UN ambassador Haley started Super Tuesday with two key states in which she had the prospect to usurp former US president Donal Trump’s throne as the foremost nominee.

The first two states to close on the Republican slide, Vermont and Virginia, operate open primaries—the ballot is open to any registered voter, regardless of party affiliation. It is in open primaries that Haley has continually overperformed, especially in comparison to other elections. Current Vermont Governor Phil Scott is an ardent critic of his boss, Donald Trump, and yet has stayed in office for eight years—consecutively elected four times for two-year terms. Trump also holds a shaky stance in Virginia, where Florida Senator Marco Rubio scarcely missed first place in 2016 after carrying five of the state’s six largest counties and independent cities.


Haley was defeated in Virginia and nearly every other state—except Vermont, where she won her second victory and managed to partially derail Trump’s campaign.


Sunday's Win in Washington, DC

Super Tuesday was not the first time the former UN ambassador bested her radical competitor. Her first GOP win was on Sunday, March 3rd when she swept the marble floors at Washington DC with 66 points and notably became the first-ever Republican woman to win a preliminary election.


Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt mocked Haley and DC. Republicans have repeated Trump's frequent assertions that the nation's capital is a “swamp” full of establishment Republicans. She sarcastically congratulated Haley:

“While Nikki has been soundly rejected throughout the rest of America, she was just crowned Queen of the Swamp by the lobbyists and DC insiders that want to protect the failed status quo.”


Nikki kneels to Trump

Although she became a first by besting Trump in Vermont—gripping away his possibility of a royal flush with all 15 states partaking in Super Tuesday—the former president cleanly swept up upvotes left and right and swiftly placed himself as the Republican candidate—much like President Joe Biden succeeded on the Democrat preliminaries. On March 6, Haley Nikki formally announced the indefinite suspension of her presidential campaign and quit the race as the last major nominee standing against Donald Trump, securing him as the automatic candidate-of-choice for the GOP.


“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,” Haley said. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people.” Her words were in stark contrast to when she started her campaign—warning that the risky standard-bearer who will cost the party the White House, the US House, and the Senate. Her followers are now left in limbo, with the base being torn between those who are pessimistic about the “risky” ex-president but will follow the Republican Party down any lane nonetheless and those who vowed against Trump and will begrudgingly vote for Biden.

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