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Donald Trump easily takes South Carolina in a commanding (and inevitable) win

Trump’s grip on South Carolina’s Republican voters ultimately proved too strong for Nikki Haley to cut through.


Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, NBC News projects, trouncing Nikki Haley in her home state and further cementing his status as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Trump’s win in South Carolina — one that he predicted for himself — had felt almost like a foregone conclusion. Polls consistently showed Trump with a commanding lead, and most of the state’s top lawmakers — including its governor, both senators and a number of House representatives — threw their support behind the former president, shunning their former governor. His hold over South Carolina’s Republican voters proved too tight for Haley ever to pose a real threat, and her pitch as the sound, stable alternative to Trump was ultimately an unconvincing one.

In the weeks leading up to the primary, Haley’s criticism of Trump had grown louder and sharper. She called him “toxic,” accused him of bringing about “chaos” and tore into the “disgusting” comments he made about Black people the previous night. She said that Trump, if nominated, would lose the general election. But her attacks on him proved too little, too late and couldn’t do much to change Saturday’s seemingly inevitable outcome.

Despite the long odds and her loss in South Carolina, Haley has remained defiant, vowing to stay in the race at least until Super Tuesday. But Trump’s decisive victory Saturday brings him that much closer to clinching the GOP nomination.