President Joe Biden’s victory in the primary elections in Nevada this Tuesday was expected, while former governor Nikki Haley surprisingly lost to “no candidate” on the Republican side. However, this does not affect her campaign. Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations, could not obtain more votes than the “no candidate” option that was on the ballots, according to projections from various media outlets. The vote does not assign state delegates to the Republican National Convention. Delegates will be awarded based on the results of the party’s caucuses or electoral assemblies that will be held on Thursday. Because of this, Haley could not compete in both the primaries and the caucuses, as the Republican Party established that the candidates had to choose between one or the other.
On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won the primary. The president was on the ballot along with other minor candidates, including Marianne Williamson, and the option “none of these candidates.” Several media outlets declared the president the winner almost two hours after the polls closed, when less than 20% of the vote. Rep. Dean Phillips entered the presidential race after the nomination deadline, so he was not on the ballot.
Nevada celebrates both the Democratic and Republican party primaries this Tuesday and, just two days later, on February 8, the Republican caucuses. For decades, Nevada held caucuses. In 2021, a law was passed that abandoned that voting model and established that state authorities must organize primaries when there was more than one candidate. Although the law established that there must be primaries, it did not specify how the Republican Party would assign the delegates to the winner, who are the ones who officially proclaim both the Democratic and Republican candidates for the presidential elections during the party conventions.
Taking advantage of this legal loophole, Trump pressured the party in Nevada to ignore the state law and continue with its tradition of caucuses, where he could proclaim himself the absolute winner. That is why this week’s caucus and presidential primary duels in Nevada created confusion among voters. In the caucuses, Trump competes with a little-known Texas pastor named Ryan Binkley, while his biggest opponent, Nikki Haley, is not running in the caucuses, but will appear on the primary ballots because she decided to comply with state law.
The caucuses, which will be held Thursday night, are widely expected to favor Trump. With his strong popular support, Trump already has an advantage when caucuses are held instead of primaries. In Nevada, about 2.3 million voters are registered to vote. Of this total, 31% are Democrats, 28% are Republicans, and 34% are independents, according to official data.
Trump wins the Iowa caucus with more than 50% of the votes; DeSantis surpasses Haley and achieves second place.
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