In a stride towards the GOP presidential nomination, former President Donald Trump has clinched a victory in the Republican caucuses of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as per projections by NBC News. This triumph marks Trump's third consecutive win in the nomination race, closely following his successes in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
This latest development further undermines the campaign of his primary opponent, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. The U.S. Virgin Islands caucus outcome promises Trump all four delegates allocated by the Republican National Committee for the upcoming summer convention in Milwaukee.
This win solidifies Trump's lead in the delegate count, underscoring his formidable presence in the GOP landscape. Trump took to his Truth Social platform to express his elation over the victory. "Great news! As we are landing in Nevada, getting ready to go to Caucus, word just came that we overwhelmingly won the Virgin Islands Caucus, ALL Delegates, with almost 75% of the Vote," Trump shared.
He conveyed his gratitude to his supporters in the Virgin Islands, highlighting their celebrations and affirming the significance of this victory for himself, the Republican Party, and democracy.
Virgin Islands Controversy
The victory in the U.S.
Virgin Islands, however, is not without controversy. Local GOP officials have raised concerns about being unfairly penalized by losing five delegates due to the early scheduling of their ranked-choice, winner-take-all contest.
The national party rules restrict such contests before mid-March, but the U.S. Virgin Islands GOP, seeking early prominence, scheduled their caucus ahead of this timeline. This decision, unless altered by a convention vote, limits their delegate representation to four.
Gordon Ackley, the GOP Chairman of the U.S. Virgin Islands, emphasized the significance of their early caucus approach. "Going third-in-the-nation with an unrigged caucus using ranked-choice voting has given every candidate a fair and equal playing field and resulted in unprecedented attention for the Virgin Islands," Ackley stated, underscoring the strategic importance of their early scheduling.
In contrast to the Iowa and New Hampshire contests where Trump was a clear frontrunner, the Virgin Islands caucus presented a more unpredictable scenario. Neither Trump nor Haley actively campaigned in the territory, although Haley made her presence felt through several virtual appearances.
Trump, maintaining a strategic approach, circulated a video message for the voters and deployed Republican surrogates like Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida and Wesley Hunt of Texas to the islands.