Trump continues his winning streak: defeats Haley in the South Carolina primary

After another clear victory in the Republican primaries, former US President Donald Trump is now almost unstoppable on his way to running for the White House again. Trump won on Saturday against his rival Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina. According to US media, after almost all votes were counted, he was around 60 percent, Haley was around 39.5 percent. But Haley still doesn’t want to give up.

Trump, however, made it clear that, in his view, the primaries are practically decided. In his victory speech in South Carolina’s capital Columbia, the right-wing populist focused entirely on the presidential election in November, in which he wants to challenge incumbent Joe Biden of the US Democrats.

“We’ll be here on November 5th (…) and we’ll say, ‘Joe, you’re fired. Get out of here,'” Trump said. The 77-year-old right-wing populist took up the famous saying from his former television show “The Apprentice”.

Biden, for his part, warned of the “danger that Donald Trump poses to our future” in response to his predecessor’s renewed primary election victory. The US is still struggling with the “damage” that Trump caused during his presidency.

Trump, meanwhile, didn’t mention Haley in his victory speech – signaling that he no longer takes her seriously as a competitor. In recent weeks he had heaped insults on his rival, who was his ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Meanwhile, Haley continued to be combative. “I said this week that I will continue to run no matter what happens in South Carolina,” she said. “I am a woman of my word. I am not giving up this fight because a majority of Americans oppose both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”

The 52-year-old had already experienced bitter defeats in the first primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The defeat in South Carolina was particularly bitter for them. She was governor of the state in the southeast of the USA from 2011 to 2017.

The Republican, who is moderate compared to Trump, is his last remaining serious competitor for the conservative party’s presidential candidacy. She had already announced before the vote in South Carolina that she would continue in any case, at least until “Super Tuesday” on March 5, when Republicans will hold primaries in 15 states.

The presidential candidate of the opposition Republicans will be formally nominated at a party conference in July after the primary elections. Haley continues to hope to be able to unite the voices of all those conservatives who consider Trump to be too extreme and unpredictable and who are distant from him because of his various legal charges and proceedings.

However, despite his judicial problems and his scandal-ridden presidency from 2017 to 2021, Trump enjoys great popularity among the right-wing base. In the past few weeks, with the exception of Haley, all of Trump’s major primary rivals have thrown in the towel, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Experts say Haley is standing by in case Trump is defeated in the presidential race. “She is waiting to see whether Trump will be thrown out of the race by a court decision or a health problem. It is already obvious that Haley herself cannot throw Trump out of the race,” political scientist Larry Sabato told AFP.

Trump’s first criminal trial is scheduled to begin on March 25 in New York and involves the alleged falsification of business documents in connection with a hush money payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election campaign. According to her own account, Stormy Daniels had an affair with Trump this denies. There are also three other criminal charges pending against the ex-president, including because of his attempts to subsequently overturn his 2020 election defeat against Biden.

The Democrats are also holding primaries, but Biden is de facto confirmed as the presidential candidate. However, many Democrats have doubts that the 81-year-old is the right candidate because of his age. Biden is already the oldest president in US history. He always causes a stir with slips of the tongue and mix-ups.