In a hurry to plan a duel with Joe Biden, Donald Trump, on Saturday February 24, inflicted a major defeat on his last Republican rival, Nikki Haley, during the South Carolina primary.

The setback is all the more cruel for the fifty-year-old, embodying a more moderate wing of the Republican Party, as it takes place in the state of which she was governor for six years. However, she refused to throw in the towel.

A sign that the ex-president no longer even considers Ms. Haley as a threat, Donald Trump targeted the current master of the White House in his first victorious statements. “Joe [Biden], you’re fired! “, he launched from Columbia, the state capital, using his favorite slogan from the days of reality TV sets. In front of him was an assembly of his supporters from whom cheers and applause erupted.

As in the three other previous elections, the aim of which is to nominate the Republican candidate for the presidential election in November, the former American president was merciless.

On Saturday, Donald Trump’s victory was projected by the American media just a few seconds after the polls closed – even if the exact margin was not yet known. Despite his legal troubles, some of which put him at risk of prison, the tempestuous septuagenarian is the ultra-favorite candidate of the right, according to all the polls.

Nikki Haley promises not to give up

The result of the primary is clear, David Darmofal, political scientist at the University of South Carolina, analyzed for Agence France-Presse: “This illustrates that he is now effectively the Republican presidential nominee. The speed of this result likely increases the pressure on Nikki Haley to withdraw from the race. »

Donald Trump hopes to force his former ambassador to the United Nations to throw in the towel in order to be able to focus his attacks on Democrat Joe Biden, who is seeking a second term in November.

But Nikki Haley, 52, is hanging on, refusing for the moment to leave the race for the Republican nomination. “I am not giving up this fight,” she told her supporters at a rally in Charleston, promising to continue “fighting for America.”

The plea from this woman, the only Republican running, is simple: “We will not survive four more years of Trump’s chaos. » Taking advantage of new controversial remarks from her rival, Nikki Haley strongly criticized him on Saturday. Mired in cases, he suggested that his indictments made him a sympathetic candidate in the eyes of black voters.

“This is the chaos that accompanies Donald Trump, and these kinds of offensive comments will continue every day until the election,” said Nikki Haley. Donald Trump’s team sweeps away its argument.

Donald Trump faces justice again on March 25

After Saturday, the two rivals must face each other on Tuesday in Michigan. The Republicans of Idaho, Missouri and North Dakota will then vote in turn, a well-orchestrated ballet that will lead the candidates to one of the biggest political events of the year, Super Tuesday. On March 5, around fifteen states, including Texas, California, Colorado and Virginia, will simultaneously hold their polls during a major election day.

The primaries can in theory stretch until July. But according to polls, Nikki Haley is not favored in any of these states and the Trump team is already predicting a victory “on March 19” at the latest. So why is she still in the race? “She is waiting to see if Trump is knocked out of the game by a court decision or a health problem,” explains political scientist Larry Sabato.

Donald Trump’s first criminal trial is scheduled to begin March 25.