Former President Donald Trump has secured a victory in the Republican caucus in the U.S. Virgin Islands, marking another win in his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. The caucus, held on Thursday, saw Trump outpacing his rivals, including former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a contest that awarded four delegates. This victory is part of Trump’s continued dominance in the early stages of the Republican nomination race, following triumphs in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ caucus, although smaller in delegate count, attracted significant attention as political observers and rival campaigns gauged the strength of support for potential candidates, particularly in the wake of Haley’s recent challenges. Haley, aiming to rebound from a disappointing showing in Nevada’s primary, where she was bested by “none of the above candidates,” had set her sights on the Virgin Islands for a potential upset. However, Trump’s win underscores his substantial lead and momentum in the race.

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Trump’s campaign strategy also includes a focus on the upcoming South Carolina primary on February 24, considered a critical battleground for Haley to narrow the gap with Trump. Current polls, including those compiled by Decision Desk HQ and The Hill, indicate Trump leading Haley by a substantial margin of approximately 31 points. The South Carolina primary is viewed by many as a decisive test of Haley’s viability as a candidate against Trump’s stronghold on the Republican base.

The Republican National Committee plans to allocate four delegates from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the summer convention in Milwaukee, despite the territory’s GOP officials claiming an unjust reduction of five delegates due to scheduling their caucus early. The U.S. Virgin Islands sought to maximize its impact on the nomination process by implementing a ranked-choice, winner-take-all system, aiming to provide a fair contest for all candidates.

Despite the lower profile of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ caucus compared to other early voting states, the territory’s GOP leadership, including Chairman Gordon Ackley, emphasized its significance in shaping the trajectory of the Republican nomination. Trump and Haley’s campaigns employed different strategies to engage with Virgin Islands voters, with Trump sending surrogates to the territory and both candidates making virtual appearances.

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As the Republican primary season progresses, Trump’s victory in the U.S. Virgin Islands adds to his series of wins, reinforcing his position as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. This outcome also reflects the challenges faced by rivals like Haley in mounting a successful campaign against Trump’s established support base within the party.