Friday, May 17, 2024

Nevada’s Republican Party holds clashing caucus and primary with decisive results


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Featured Photo from Kayla Walker

Story by Hannah Ferreira

In Nevada’s recent Republican primary, former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley lost resoundingly to the “none of these candidates” option on the ballot. Meanwhile, at the Nevada caucus, former President Donald Trump swept all 26 available delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Haley, who chose to participate in the primary rather than the Thursday caucus, told Fox 11 that the setup was “such a scam.” Her campaign manager echoed this, telling reporters it was “rigged for Trump.”

Many people shared similar frustrations, though not necessarily because they believed it was rigged, just baffling.

Even Trump-endorsed Republican governor Joe Lombardo said in an October broadcast that the approach was “detrimental to the candidates” and confusing for voters. 

In 2021, the state legislature passed a law that essentially replaced the presidential caucus by requiring a primary election if more than one person in a party has candidacy.

State Republicans objected and unsuccessfully sued but determined that just the caucus would determine delegates to the convention. They also decided that any candidate participating in the primary is not eligible for the caucus. 

However, voters could still participate in both.

Primaries are typically more accessible because of the option for mail-in ballots and early voting, but Nevada has held presidential caucuses since 1981. They bring like-minded, motivated voters together for a more lively political scene but are more time-consuming, producing lower turnout.

However, Nevada Republicans turned out to both options big-time. They expressed overwhelming support for Trump in his second presidential bid and an outright, but still just symbolic, rejection of Nikki Haley.

Haley is the last one standing in a once relatively sizable field of Republican candidates trying to take down Trump. Though her numbers have never been great, she has been a voice for some conservatives who are also demanding accountability for Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 and by moderates displeased with Biden’s administration. 

Within a party that has become largely reliant on Donald Trump’s success, her last-ditch efforts in the coming months are likely to be futile. 

The controversial former president has all but officially secured the Republican Party’s official nomination, which will come in July at the party’s convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For the Democratic Primary, incumbent Joe Biden won almost 90% of the votes and, therefore, all 36 available delegates.

With very little serious competition within Biden and Trump’s respective parties, voters can prepare for a November rematch.

Hannah Ferreira is a contributing writer for MTSU Sidelines.

To contact News Editor Alyssa Williams and Assistant News Editor Zoe Naylor, email

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