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Haley ekes out win in Vermont on Super Tuesday

The evening solidified a Biden-Trump rematch, as both candidates swept most of the 15 states polling today.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump swept through most of the 15 states that went to the polls on Super Tuesday March 5. Nikki Haley won Vermont, denying Trump a clean sweep. / (YouTube photo)

Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley eked out a small victory in Vermont March 5, edging out front-runner Donald Trump by less than 2,000 votes on Super Tuesday, when voters in 15 states went to the polls.

With 93 percent of the vote counted at 11 pm Eastern Time, Haley led in Vermont, with 50 percent of the vote: 33,681. Trump took second with 45.7 percent of the vote. Vermont is a “winner take all” state: Haley added 9 delegates to her count, and has thus far amassed 52 delegates, to Trump’s 493. Either candidate must gain 1,215 delegates to claim the Reopublican Party nomination.
This is Haley’s second win. By winning Vermont, the former South Carolina governor denied Trump a “clean sweep” on Super Tuesday evening. Haley previously gained victory March 3 in Washington DC.

Trump won by landslides in 13 other states in which polls had closed as New India Abroad went to press. In California, which is a “winner take all” state with 169 delegates to be allotted, Trump took an early lead with almost 75 percent of the votes, with 29 percent of ballots tabulated. Polls have not closed yet in Alaska and less than 1 percent of votes have been counted in Utah.

President Joe Biden, running for re-election largely uncontested, also swept through the 13 states where votes had been counted. The “uncommitted” vote — a movement urging the administration to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war— hardly factored into vote totals, except in Minnesota, where 20 percent — more than 38,000 — of voters wrote in uncommitted.

Haley did not deliver a speech. But NBC News reported that the mood at her campaign headquarters was “jubilant.” The candidate earlier had stated her pledge to continue her campaign at least until Super Tuesday.

Shekar Narasimhan, chairman and founder of the AAPI Victory Fund, told New India Abroad he was surprised that Haley has lasted so long  in a race largely thought to be a foregone conclusion in favor of Trump. “She may end campaigning, but will go to the convention with her 70 or so delegates,” he said, noting that — should anything happen to Trump — Haley would be able to jump in. Narasimhan predicted Haley would not endorse Trump, her former boss who appointed her to serve as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. On the campaign trail, Trump has taken to referring to Haley as “that birdbrain.”

“The good news is that Republicans are getting sick of Trump. We were afraid that would never happen,” Harini Krishnan, National organizing chair for South Asians for America told New India Abroad. “Nikki Haley is someone they can rally behind.”

“But her views are too extremist for a lot of Independents, especially on the issue of reproductive rights,” said Krishnan, noting that Independents have largely lined up behind Trump.
Both Narasimhan and Krishnan said the Biden/Harris campaign must pay attention to the voices of the uncommitted movement. “A temporary ceasfire doies not meet the demands of many voters,” said Narasimhan, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris’ call for a temporary cease fire during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins March 10. “These horrific attrocities have gone for far too long.”

Narasimhan predicted that Biden will address the Israel-Hamas war at his State of the Union address March 7. “I expect the President to say: ‘We have to stop this carnage,’” he said.

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