4 months ago

Trump vs. Haley: Showdown in Washington’s GOP Primary

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In the upcoming Washington, DC, Republican primary this Sunday (Mar 3), presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Nikki Haley are set to compete in a contest with relatively low stakes, yet it offers Haley a notable opportunity to outperform the former president.

Washington, DC, contributes a mere 19 delegates out of the total 2,429 to the Republican National Convention scheduled for July, where the party’s nominee will be officially chosen. Despite Trump’s dominance in earlier nomination events, Sunday’s primary is unlikely to alter the overall direction of the race.

However, DC’s unique demographic could provide Haley with an advantage, according to a senior official from the SFA Fund, the leading super PAC backing Haley. In the 2016 Republican primary in DC, Trump secured less than 14% of the vote and failed to win any delegates, showcasing a potential opening for Haley in the capital.

Voting has been taking place at the sole polling station located in a downtown hotel since Friday morning and will conclude on Sunday evening at 7pm (8am, Singapore time), followed by vote counting.

Washington, DC, is entirely urban with a high percentage of college-educated residents, contrasting with Trump’s predominantly rural base and stronger support in regions with lower levels of educational attainment.

A victory for Trump in DC would demonstrate his ability to maintain support across various demographic and geographic segments of the Republican Party.

The primary’s outcome remains uncertain due to the lack of local opinion polls and the small Republican population in the city. Haley took the opportunity to campaign in DC on Friday at an event held in the same hotel as the polling station. Trump’s campaign has not been actively present in the city, other than reaching out to local supporters through text messages.

The Democratic primary in Washington is scheduled for June, and the upcoming Super Tuesday on the following Tuesday will see voters in 15 states and one US territory participating in the largest day of the presidential primary nominating contests, with 874 Republican delegates at stake.

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