Primary elections in Nevada have left both surprises and predictable results. On the one hand, President Joe Biden won a virtually assured victory on the Democratic side.
On the other hand, on the Republican side, former Governor Nikki Haley surprisingly lost to “no candidate,” an option promoted by the state party leadership, loyal to Donald Trump.
Results on the Democratic side
In the Democratic primary in Nevada, President Joe Biden emerged victorious. Although other minor candidates also appeared on the ballot, such as Marianne Williamson, the “none of these candidates” option was also present. Surprisingly, only less than 20% of the votes had been counted when several media outlets were already announcing Biden as the winner.
It is important to mention that Representative Dean Phillips was not on the ballot because he entered the presidential race after the filing deadline. Despite this, Biden managed to secure a clear victory, cementing his position as the strongest Democratic candidate at this stage of the primaries.
Surprises and controversies on the Republican side
On the Republican side, the Nevada primary was marked by surprises and controversy. Former Governor Nikki Haley lost unexpectedly to the “no candidate” option, a strategy promoted by the state party leadership, which maintains its loyalty to Donald Trump. Haley’s campaign attempted to downplay the outcome, stating that they would focus on states where the race is fair.
It should be noted that Haley decided not to campaign in Nevada, as the Republicans promoted a change in the electoral rules, instituting a caucus and vetoing those who registered in the primary, supposedly to favor Trump. Despite this symbolic defeat, it is important to note that it does not affect the delegate count.
Influence of Donald Trump
Don Trump’s figure continues to be a determining factor in the Republican primaries. Although he was not on the ballots in Nevada due to his participation in the caucuses organized by the party, Trump joked on social networks about the result, recalling Haley’s speeches after the defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire. Her presence and grassroots support continue to generate impact in the primaries.
It is important to note that Nevada held both primaries and caucuses this year. For decades, the state had held caucuses, but in 2021 a law was passed that provided for primaries when there was more than one candidate.
However, the law did not specify how the Republican Party would allocate delegates to the winner, which allowed Trump to pressure the party to keep the tradition of caucuses, where he could proclaim himself the outright victor.
Confusion among voters
Combination of primaries and caucuses in Nevada generated confusion among Republican voters. In the caucuses, Trump competed against a little-known Texas pastor named Ryan Binkley. On the other hand, Nikki Haley opted to appear on the primary ballots to comply with state law. The caucuses, to be held Thursday night, are expected to heavily favor Trump because of his strong grassroots support.
In Nevada, there are about 2.3 million registered voters, with 31% identifying as Democrats, 28% as Republicans and 34% as independents, according to official data. These numbers reflect the importance of primaries and caucuses in the presidential candidate selection process.
Primaries in Nevada have left surprising and predictable results. While Joe Biden secured a clear victory on the Democratic side, Nikki Haley lost to the “no candidate” option on the Republican side. Donald Trump’s influence continues to be decisive in the primaries, and his strategy of keeping the caucuses in Nevada has generated confusion among Republican voters.
As the primaries progress across the United States, it will be interesting to see how the competition between the candidates plays out and how Trump’s figure continues to influence the decisions of Republican voters. The road to the presidential election is full of surprises and challenges, and Nevada has been just one stop in this exciting democratic process.