Election 2024

Nikki Haley becomes the first woman to win a GOP primary & supporters encourage her to continue

Nikki Haley, transgender, transphobia, gender identity, pronouns
Nikki Haley Photo: Shutterstock

Nikki Haley has become the first woman to win a Republican primary after beating Donald Trump in the Washington, D.C. primary on Sunday.

Haley secured 63 percent of the vote, as well as all 19 delegates, while Trump garnered 33 percent. It is Haley’s first primary win so far. 2,030 people voted, with 1,274 votes going to Haley and 676 going to Trump.

Haley celebrated the victory on X, writing, “Let’s do it. Thank you, DC! We fight for every inch.”

While Haley has almost no chance of winning the Republican primary over Trump, she said that she has stayed in the race due to her steadfast belief that voters deserve the opportunity to vote for someone other than the former president. She recently declared, “I refuse to quit,” promising she was staying in the race until at least Super Tuesday.

“I mean, this isn’t Russia. We don’t want someone to go in and just get 99% of the vote,” Haley told the AP in February. “What is the rush? Why is everybody so panicked about me having to get out of this race?”

“Instead of asking me what states I’m gonna win, why don’t we ask how he’s gonna win a general election after spending a full year in a courtroom?” she added.

And according to the AP, many Republicans want her to stay in the race. One donor, Eric Levine, declared he’d support her all the way to the Republican convention.

“We’re not prepared to fold our tents and pray at the altar of Donald Trump,” he said. “There’s value in her sticking in and gathering delegates because if and when he stumbles, who knows what happens.”

And it’s not only Republicans who want her to stick around.

In a recent CNN interview, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called Haley “one of our better surrogates” against Donald Trump.

“I hope she stays in,” he said, adding that she’s “spot on” when it comes to “99 percent” of what she says about Trump.

“I’m enjoying this primary, and I hope it continues,” he said, “So I wish her luck.”

Even some of Haley’s biggest supporters know she has no chance, but they are standing by her anyway.

Reuters recently spoke to 13 Haley supporters across three different rallies. Eleven of them acknowledged Trump’s primary victory as more or less a sure thing. Still, they continue to rally around Haley to express support for pre-Trump GOP policies and to communicate their dislike of Trump.

Despite her success in disparaging Trump, Haley has also taken several problematic stances. She’s claimed America has never been “a racist country” and that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery.

She has also said she will “always fight against” trans women playing girls’ and women’s sports and has vocally opposed President Joe Biden’s efforts to restore trans-inclusive school policies that were rolled back during Donald Trump’s presidency, calling the athletic policies, “an attack on women’s rights.” She has also said that trans athletes and statements of personal pronouns are proof that the U.S. has “been weakened.”

In January, Haley blamed trans people for the military not being able to meet its recruitment goals in a rant full of false statements.

“For goodness sake, stop making them take gender pronoun classes,” she said, exasperated over something that does not exist. “It’s demoralizing to our military. Stop all these programs that don’t matter!”

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