Indian-American Nikki Haley Wins Vermont Republican Primary Against Donald Trump

Washington: Indian-American US presidential candidate Nikki Haley scored a surprising victory over Donald Trump in the Republican primary in the US state of Vermont, her second win in the race for the White House in 2024.

Nikki Haley, 52, leads former president Trump 49.9 per cent to 45.8 per cent with 98 per cent of the vote counted, according to US media outlets.

While Mr Trump, 77, maintains a lead in every other state, charging towards the Republican nomination, Ms Haley’s triumph in Vermont marks her second victory in the primaries and her first in Super Tuesday.

Ms Haley’s campaign said on Tuesday that it was “honoured” by her projected win in Vermont’s Republican presidential primary.

“We’re honoured 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,” Ms Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said in a statement. “Unity is not achieved by simply claiming ‘we’re united.'” Ms Haley’s campaign said there remains a “large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns” about the former president.

“That is not the unity our party needs for success. Addressing those voters’ concerns will make the Republican Party and America better,” Perez-Cubas said.

Mr Trump has a formidable delegate lead with 893 delegates, while Ms Haley has 66.

To win the presidential nomination of the Republican party, either of the two candidates needs 1,215 delegates.

Political pundits had pointed to Vermont as Ms Haley’s best chance to win a state, especially given its history of favouring moderate Republican candidates. Adding to that advantage, she received a crucial endorsement from Vermont Governor Phil Scott over the weekend.

“Vermont has a history of favouring moderate Republican candidates, and she got the endorsement of Governor Scott over the weekend. I don’t think that makes her a favourite, but she has her best shot,” University of Vermont political science professor Alex Garlick told USA Today.

Vermont’s primary operates on a winner-takes-all basis, offering 17 delegates to the candidate who secures 50 per cent or more of the statewide vote. Otherwise, the delegates will be divided among Ms Haley and Mr Trump.

Just two days prior, Ms Haley made history by winning the Republican primary in Washington DC, becoming the first woman ever to achieve this milestone.

(This story has been published from a syndicated feed.)