Republican primary in South Carolina | Trump big favorite, Haley hopes to shake him up

(Charleston) In a hurry to put an end to Nikki Haley, Donald Trump wants to inflict a crushing defeat on his rival on Saturday during the Republican primary in South Carolina, the state of which she was governor for six years.

The 77-year-old former American president, ultra-favorite of the right, hopes to force his ex-ambassador to the UN to throw in the towel in order to be able to concentrate his attacks on Democrat Joe Biden, who is seeking a second term in November .

But Nikki Haley, 52, is hanging on: she is refusing for the moment to leave the race for the Republican nomination which should nominate the party’s candidate for the presidential election.

However, she has lost all previous primaries to Mr. Trump and polls show her 30 points behind him in her own territory.


Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley

“My goal has always been to be a candidate who counts in South Carolina,” she told the press on Saturday. “Donald Trump cannot win the presidential election” against Joe Biden, she repeated, believing that she would be more of a match for the latter.

Donald Trump’s team sweeps away its argument.

“The primary ends tonight and it’s time to turn to the presidential election so we can defeat Scum Joe,” Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Mr. Trump, said in a statement, using one the tycoon’s favorite nicknames for the democrat.

” Another chance ”

As soon as the polls opened, voters flocked to the polling stations.

Jeff, 54, says he considered voting for Haley, but that Donald Trump’s lawsuits convinced him to vote for the ex-president.

“They hurt him so much. He deserves another chance,” said this Republican who preferred not to give his last name outside a polling station in Mount Pleasant, near Charleston.

In Charleston itself, Julie Taylor, 56, came to vote with her teenage daughter.

“Nikki Haley is an incredible role model. “She doesn’t give up and she shows strength, grace and courage,” she says.

Caroline Palmer, 47, also voted for the former governor, but not for the same reasons. This Democrat was able to vote in the Republican primary as provided by the rules here, and she wants to block Donald Trump.

“He’s a pretty horrible person. I especially don’t want him to become president again,” she explained.

Taking advantage of new controversial comments from her rival, Nikki Haley strongly criticized him on Saturday. Mired in legal troubles, he suggested that his indictments made him a sympathetic candidate to African Americans.

He was meeting with a group of conservative African-Americans in South Carolina on Friday evening when he said: “A lot of people say that black people like me because they have suffered so much and been discriminated against, and they see themselves as someone who has been discriminated against. »


“This is the chaos that accompanies Donald Trump, and these kinds of offensive comments will continue every day until the election,” said Nikki Haley.

The plea of ​​this woman, the only one in the running among the Republicans, is simple: “We will not survive four more years of Trump’s chaos. »


Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

She urges choosing instead “a new generation of conservative leaders.”

The first results should fall on Saturday from 7 p.m.

The stakes of this primary are clear.

“If Trump is able to beat former Gov. Nikki Haley in his home state, that would likely make him a near-guaranteed candidate for the Republican Party nomination,” says David Darmofal, a political scientist at the University of Carolina. from South.

But Nikki Haley does not admit defeat. After Saturday, the two rivals should therefore face each other on Tuesday in Michigan.

The Republicans of Idaho, Missouri and North Dakota will then vote in turn, a well-orchestrated ballet which will lead the candidates to one of the biggest political meetings of the year, Super Tuesday.

On March 5, around fifteen states, including Texas, California, Colorado and Virginia, will simultaneously hold their polls during a major election day.

The primaries can in theory stretch until July. But the Trump team is predicting a victory “on March 19” at the latest.

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