CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Former President Donald Trump beat former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state primary on Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

The AP projected Trump’s win at 7 p.m. Eastern. The former president has now sailed to victory in the 2024 primary season’s first five nominating contests, including the Nevada caucus, the U.S. Virgin Islands caucus, the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucus, while Haley has yet to notch a win.

Trump held a 23-point lead against Haley in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for South Carolina ahead of the primary, which awards 50 delegates.

South Carolina doesn’t register its voters by party affiliation, so Democratic voters were also allowed to participate in the Republican primary if they didn’t cast a ballot in their primary on Feb. 3. President Joe Biden won the Democratic primary in a landslide, receiving 96.2% of the vote.

Haley was handily elected twice as governor of South Carolina in 2010 and 2014 before she joined the Trump administration in 2017 as U.N. Ambassador. The former governor previously served three terms in the state legislature.

The former president racked up endorsements from nearly all of South Carolina’s top Republicans — Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Nancy Mace, Rep. Russell Fry, Rep. Jeff Duncan, Rep. Joe Wilson and Rep. William Timmons.

GOP Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina has supported Haley’s campaign since she announced in February 2023.

Haley came in third place in Iowa on Jan. 15 with 19.1% support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who notched 21.2% compared to Trump’s 51%. The former president beat Haley 54.3% to 43.2% in New Hampshire the following week.

In Nevada, Haley opted to participate in the state-run primary, which didn’t count for delegates, and lost to the “None of These Candidates” option on Feb. 6 by roughly 33 points. The former president overwhelmingly secured the Nevada GOP-run caucus two days later, when he also beat Haley 74% to 26% in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ contest.

The next nominating contest is in Michigan on Tuesday, where the former president is currently leading by nearly 52 points in the RCP average.

Mary Lou Masters on February 24, 2024

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