LAS VEGAS – After winning the Republican presidential caucus in Nevada, former President Donald Trump has his eyes set on the next big contest on the 2024 Republican nominating calendar: South Carolina.
“Is it possible to call an election one way or another,” Trump asked, pointing to his large double-digit lead in the latest polls in South Carolina.
The Nevada caucus victory by the former president, who is the front-runner for the GOP nomination as he makes his third straight campaign for the White House, was never in doubt. Trump was the only major candidate in a race run by a friendly state party and in which only registered Republicans could vote.
Trump's convincing victory in Nevada – where 26 delegates were at stake – came hours after he won a landslide victory in a presidential caucus led by the Republican Party of the US Virgin Islands.
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And Thursday's caucus in Nevada also came two days after he won Nevada's statewide Republican presidential primary, even though he wasn't on the ballot.
Trump's absence from the primary vote was not enough to pave the way to victory for Nikki Haley, the former president's last major rival for the 2024 Republican nomination.
The former two-term South Carolina governor, who later served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration, lost Tuesday to the “none of the above” option by a margin of more than two to one in a primary where no GOP convention delegates were present. bet.
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Voters casting ballots in the primary couldn't write in Trump's name, but they couldn't vote for “neither candidate.” And Trump supporters, interviewed by Fox News outside polling stations, said that's how they voted.
“So I wouldn't want to congratulate any of the people above,” Trump said Thursday night, mocking Haley. “I was one of them.”
Haley, who had not campaigned in Nevada since October, downplayed the importance of this week's primaries and caucus in the Silver State, saying Wednesday in an interview with Fox News Digital in Los Angeles that he does not It wasn't about “something we were looking at” and accusing that. the caucus was “rigged” for Trump.
Trump won the majority of votes in the Iowa caucuses on January 15, and he edged Haley by 11 points a week later in the New Hampshire primary, when the nomination battle turned into a two-candidate race.
Haley, facing calls from some Republicans to end her White House bid, told supporters in California this week that “I'm in it for the long haul.”
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South Carolina's primary is Feb. 24, and Trump will return to the state this weekend for the first time in two months.
The latest public opinion polls in the Palmetto State indicate that Trump holds a very impressive double-digit lead. And the former president has the support of the state's governor, nearly the entire congressional delegation and many state lawmakers and local officials.
Dave Wilson, a veteran Republican consultant based in South Carolina, highlighted Trump's “groundswell” in the state and highlighted the former president's “ground strengths.”
Wilson also noted that “Nikki Haley is reintroducing herself to South Carolina” because “nearly a million people have moved to this country since she's been governor.”
But highlighting her undefeated voting record, Wilson said “never underestimate Nikki Haley. Never count Nikki Haley aside.”
Haley, looking ahead, reiterated that “we're focused on South Carolina, Michigan, Super Tuesday.”
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Michigan holds its primary on Tuesday, February 27, three days after the South Carolina Republican primary. Fifteen states, including giants California and Texas, hold contests a week later, on Super Tuesday.
Haley's two campaign stops Wednesday in California were her first to date in one of the Super Tuesday states. And the move to the Golden State appears in part to be a marker for Haley as she fends off calls from some Republicans to drop out of the race and abandon her difficult climb for the nomination.
The trip also included a series of fundraisers. And as Fox News Digital first reported Wednesday, Haley raised $1.7 million in funds during her two days in California.
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Haley told Fox News Digital that when it comes to campaign finance, “we've been smart.”
And she boasted that you won't become “the last one to stand up to Donald Trump if you don't manage your money well. So yes, we're working to make sure we have the resources.”
Get the latest 2024 election campaign updates, exclusive interviews and more on our Fox News Digital election hub.