Former President Donald Trump won the Nevada caucus on Thursday by a large margin, running essentially unopposed, according to The Associated Press.
Trump received 97.6% of the early share from Republican caucusgoers in the state, and businessman Ryan Binkley pulled in just 2.4%, the AP projected at the time of writing. The Nevada GOP will allocate its 26 delegates proportionally through the caucus results rather than the state-run primary, which former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley lost on Tuesday.
Former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation in 2021 mandating a primary system for the presidential election, but the state Republican Party decided to keep its decades-old caucus process. Candidates were only permitted to participate in one of the nominating contests.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum were set to participate in the caucus before they suspended their respective presidential campaigns. Along with Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott were scheduled to compete in the primary.
The “None of These Candidates” option received more than double the amount of support in the primary than Haley did. The former ambassador didn’t campaign in Nevada, argued that the nominating process in the state was “rigged from the beginning” following her loss.
Nevada’s Republican governor and lieutenant governor, Joe Lombardo and Stavros Anthony, both endorsed Trump ahead of the contest, pledging to vote for “None of These Candidates” on Tuesday and caucus for the former president on Thursday.
In the 2014 Democratic primary for governor, the nameless ballot option won a plurality of the vote at nearly 30%, beating eventual nominee Bob Goodman at 25%.
President Joe Biden notched nearly 90% of the vote in the Democratic primary, which served as his party’s only nominating contest for the 36 delegates.
The president narrowly beat Trump during the 2020 general election in Nevada. However, Biden is currently losing to the former president by seven points in the RealClearPolitics average for a potential rematch in the state.
The next nominating contest is in Haley’s home state of South Carolina on Feb. 24, where she is currently trailing Trump by over 30 points in the RealClearPolitics average. Trump has secured the backing from nearly all of the state’s top Republicans, including the governor, both senators and a majority of the House members.
Mary Lou Masters on February 8, 2024