Super Tuesday boosting Trump closer to clinching GOP nomination as Haley makes possible last stand

The polls are now closed in all 16 states across America that held presidential nominating contests on Super Tuesday.

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the Fox News Decision projected that former President Donald Trump would win the North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Maine, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, and California primaries. 

‘They call it Super Tuesday for a reason. This is a big one,’ Trump said in a primary night victory speech in front of a large group of supporters at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. ‘There’s never been anything so conclusive.’

And in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Brooke Singman minutes earlier, Trump called it a ‘great evening.’ 

While Trump won’t clinch the 2024 Republican nomination on Tuesday, the former president was on course to capture the vast majority of the 854 Republican delegates up for grabs, moving him significantly closer to locking up his party’s presidential nomination over his last remaining rival – former U.N. ambassador and former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Haley did come away with one victory on Super Tuesday, as she was projected the winner in Vermont, where she narrowly edged Trump. 

Trump made no mention of Haley in his 20-minute-long speech Tuesday night.

Haley, who had said she would remain in the race at least through Super Tuesday, has remained mum on any plans going forward.

Her campaign said that Haley watched primary night returns with staff as they huddled in Charleston, South Carolina. She didn’t deliver any speech or release a statement.

But her campaign, in a statement, said ‘we’re honored to have received the support of millions of Americans across the country today, including in Vermont where Nikki became the first Republican woman to win two presidential primary contests.’

And pointing a bunch of Super Tuesday states where Haley captured anywhere from a quarter to a third of the vote in the GOP contests, the campaign argued that ‘today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump. That is not the unity our party needs for success. Addressing those voters’ concerns will make the Republican Party and America better.’

Heading into Super Tuesday, Trump had swept all but one of the first ten contests on the GOP nominating calendar.

And the strong showing by the former president in Tuesday’s slew of primaries and caucuses boosted him in his mission to completely pivot from a primary battle with Haley to a general election rematch with President Biden, who defeated Trump four years ago to win the White House.

Biden was running the table in the Super Tuesday Democratic nominating contests, although he did suffer his first defeat – with a loss in American Samoa.

‘If every single conservative, Republican and Trump supporter in these states shows up on Super Tuesday, we will be very close to finished with this primary contest,’ Trump said in a video to supporters this past weekend. ‘Republicans will then be able to focus all of our energy, time and resources on defeating crooked Joe Biden.’

Some of the states – including California with 169 delegates at stake – have winner-take-all rules to varying degrees, which should boost Trump’s delegate haul.

With more large states like Georgia, Florida, Illinois and Ohio among the eight holding primaries on March 12 and 19, Trump is expected to reach the 1,215 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by the middle of this month.

Trump’s campaign predicted in a memo last month that even under the most favorable modeling for Haley, the former president would clinch the nomination by March 19.

Trump for nearly a year has dominated the GOP nomination race, which last summer peaked with more than a dozen challengers taking on the former president. Helping to boost Trump among the Republican base were his history-making indictments last year in four different criminal cases – including charges in two cases that he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss. 

The former president kicked off the nominating calendar with double-digit wins in the Iowa caucuses and in the New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Michigan primaries. He also grabbed landslide victories in the Nevada and U.S. Virgin Islands GOP caucuses.

Trump rolled into Super Tuesday with plenty of momentum after securing the 39 delegates up for grabs Saturday at the Michigan GOP’s party convention.

A few hours later, the former president was victorious in the Missouri caucuses, and he closed out Saturday evening by scoring a win in the Idaho caucuses.

‘We’ve been launching like a rocket to the Republican nomination,’ Trump touted Saturday night at a rally in Richmond, Virginia, as he pointed to his ballot box victories in Michigan, Missouri and Idaho.

Heading into Super Tuesday, Trump was 230 delegates ahead of Haley, following his North Dakota victory on Monday night.

‘Republican voters have delivered resounding wins for President Trump in every single primary contest and this race is over,’ Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a recent statement. ‘Our focus is now on Joe Biden and the general election.’

The former president also won a major court victory on Monday as the Supreme Court unanimously sided with Trump in his legal challenge to the state of Colorado’s attempt to kick him off its 2024 primary ballot. 

But Haley, who remains in the GOP nomination race at least through Super Tuesday despite the extremely long odds she faces, on Sunday enjoyed victory for the first time in the 2024 race.

Haley topped Trump by roughly 30 points in Washington, D.C.’s, Republican primary. She captured 19 delegates and made history as the first woman to win a GOP presidential primary or caucus.

‘Republicans closest to Washington’s dysfunction know that Donald Trump has brought nothing but chaos and division for the past 8 years. It’s time to start winning again and move our nation forward!’ Haley wrote on social media Sunday night.

In the past few days, Haley landed the endorsements of two GOP senators from Super Tuesday states: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Haley, who has garnered strong support in the GOP primaries from independents and whose fundraising has remained formidable, has stayed in the race as an option for voters dissatisfied with a likely Biden-Trump rematch. 

‘As much as everybody wants to go and push me out, I’m not ready to get out yet. I’m still sitting there fighting for the people that want a voice,’ Haley said Tuesday morning in an interview on ‘Fox and Friends.’

Haley reiterated in an interview on Saturday with Fox News’ Bill Melugin that ‘we’re going to go as long as we’re competitive,’ but she did not specifically define what competitive means.

Except for Alaska, all the states that were holding GOP primaries or caucuses on Tuesday also conducted Democrat ones as well. The Iowa Democrats announced the results of a vote-by-mail caucus they’ve been holding since mid-January.

One U.S. territory – American Samoa – also hold a Democratic nominating contests on Tuesday.

The president, who faces nominal challenges from Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and best-selling author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, easily romped in the Democrat contests.

The Fox News Decision Desk projected Biden the winner of the Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina primaries soon after the poll closings in those three states. The following hour the president was projected the winner in Alabama, Tennessee, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

In the 9pm ET, the Fox News Decision Desk projected Biden to be victorious in Texas and Minnesota. 

Biden was on course to win nearly all the 1,420 Democratic delegates up for grabs on Tuesday and move much closer to the 1,968 needed to lock up renomination.

But Biden did suffer a setback, as the Fox News Decision Desk projected he would lose the Democratic caucus in American Samoa to longshot candidate and entrepreneur Jason Palmer. 

Palmer was expected to win 4 delegates, to the president’s two on the Pacific Ocean island territory. It was Biden’s first defeat in the 2024 Democratic nominating calendar.

The president, in a statement on Super Tuesday’s results, said that ‘oday, millions of voters across the country made their voices heard — showing that they are ready to fight back against Donald Trump’s extreme plan to take us backwards.’ 

‘My message to the country is this: Every generation of Americans will face a moment when it has to defend democracy. Stand up for our personal freedom. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. To every Democrat, Republican, and independent who believes in a free and fair America: This is our moment. This is our fight. Together, we will win,’ Biden emphasized.

Fox News’ Remy Numa contributed to this report.

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