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Trump poised for blowout wins over Nikki Haley on Super Tuesday

Former President Donald Trump is poised for a fresh round of blowout wins over Nikki Haley on Super Tuesday that could all but wrap up the Republican nomination, even as Haley vowed to stay in the race following her win in the Washington, D.C., primary.

With 15 states prepared to vote, Trump leads Haley in all of them, although the former U.N. ambassador is within striking distance in a few, such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia and Vermont, that are strongholds of more moderate suburban Republicans.

Haley boasted some momentum from a lopsided win in Sunday’s Washington, D.C., GOP primary, her first win after Trump swept all the traditional early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and her home state of South Carolina.

Haley beat Trump by a nearly 2-1 margin in the D.C. contest, where Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats by a 10-1 margin and most GOP voters are moderate, affluent and well educated, demographics that have favored her.

But Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to romp to a lopsided victory in populous, delegate-rich states such as California and Texas, which will likely all but seal his win in the Republican nomination fight.

He could win a majority of the GOP delegates, effectively wrapping up the nomination, as early as next week, before he faces any of four expected criminal trials on a total of 91 felonies.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden is facing only nominal opposition and is expected to cruise to overwhelming victories in all the states on tap.

Biden could face some pockets of resistance from progressive opponents of his stance on Israel’s war in Gaza, some of whom may vote for uncommitted delegate slates after about 13% did so in last week’s Michigan primary.

The vast coast-to-coast map on Super Tuesday seems tailor-made for Trump to keep rolling on his way to an insurmountable lead over Haley.

Haley rallied supporters on Monday in Texas, the second-biggest delegate prize next to California.

The ex-president, who remains the most popular and powerful leader in the GOP, has been ramping up pressure on Haley to drop out, and another big win could be the final straw for her.

Haley still boasts a significant campaign war chest and has said she wants to stay in the race until the Republican National Convention in July in case delegates there have second thoughts about formally nominating Trump amid his legal woes.

But Haley had been most adamant about staying in the race through Super Tuesday, raising the possibility she might not soldier on if she endures another round of punishing defeats.

One big question for Trump will be if he continues to perform relatively poorly with affluent college-educated Republican primary voters, a onetime reliable GOP voting bloc that has swung hard to Democrats since he burst onto the political scene.

Key tests of his weakness with those voters could come in Virginia, a state that Sen. Marco Rubio nearly won in the 2016 race when he ran against Trump as a moderate, and Minnesota, which Rubio won. Massachusetts and Vermont, where Republicans elected moderate GOP Gov. Phil Scott, might also give Haley stronger than expected showings.

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