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Democrat Donors, Voters Weren’t Enough To Save Haley From Embarrassing Virginia Defeat

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Despite an influx of cash and support from Democrats, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley brutally lost the Republican presidential primary in Virginia to former President Donald Trump as he dominated the Super Tuesday races.

Trump took all 24 delegates up for grabs in the state, winning about 434,000 votes at the time of reporting. With 95 percent of the votes in, Haley was losing by nearly 30 points, with some 239,000 votes.

Haley’s defeat comes despite the state having an open primary, which she reportedly hoped would boost her. An exit poll from The Washington Post showed that of the self-identified Democrats who voted in the Virginia primary, 11 percent voted for Trump, while 84 percent voted for Haley. Self-identified independents made up 30 percent of GOP primary voters, with 48 percent voting for Trump and 49 percent voting for Haley, according to the poll at publishing time.

“Haley’s advisers have frequently noted that 11 of the 16 contests on Super Tuesday have open or semi-open primaries in which the former South Carolina governor could expand the universe of voters beyond the Republican base, including key targets like Virginia, Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Vermont,” The Washington Post reported.

But Haley’s support among Democrats and a few Republicans could not help her cross the finish line — and neither could cold-hard cash. Democratic donors such as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman reportedly donated $250,000 to a pro-Haley super PAC despite saying he would vote for President Joe Biden in November.

Haley has also touted herself as the bona fide candidate for servicemen and women, but despite more than 150,000 total active-duty and reserve members reportedly living in Virginia as of 2021 and nearly 615,000 veterans reportedly residing in the state as of 2022, Haley still couldn’t convince key demographics that she wasn’t the candidate of the military-industrial complex.

Haley performed unsurprisingly well in Arlington County — which isn’t really a win considering it’s inhabited largely by D.C. swamp creatures.

Meanwhile, Trump’s win was a huge improvement from his 2016 primary performance in the state, where he narrowly beat Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by less than 3 percentage points.

But Haley fails to do what every single presidential hopeful must: appeal to rural voters.

Virginia’s map is overwhelmingly red, especially outside the confines of D.C. Haley’s inability to win the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries should have been enough for her to drop out, but losing Virginia, and especially the rural vote, by the margins she did should be the final nail in the coffin for her campaign.


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