Donald Trump Wins Nevada’s Republican Caucuses After Being The Only Major Candidate To Participate
LAS VEGAS, Feb 9: Former U.S. President Donald Trump won Nevada’s Republican presidential caucuses after he was the only major candidate to participate.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley skipped the caucuses, which are the only contest in Nevada that counts toward the GOP nomination. Ms. Haley cited what she considered an unfair process favouring Mr. Trump and instead ran in Nevada’s symbolic state-run presidential primary, when she finished behind the “none of these candidates” option.
Mr. Trump’s win in Nevada gives him all 26 of the state’s delegates. He needs to accrue 1,215 delegates to formally clinch the party’s nomination and could reach that number in March.
Even though Donald Trump was expected to easily win Nevada’s Republican caucuses, his supporters waited in long lines to get their chance to cast their votes for the former president.
At one caucus site at a Reno-area elementary school, a line of nearly 1,000 people stretched around the corner and down the street 20 minutes after the caucuses opened.
Voters in line, some of whom were wearing Trump hats and shirts, said they came out to back the former president in a contest that would give him third straight win in the Republican presidential race.
At another site in Las Vegas, more than 100 people were still in line waiting to enter 30 minutes before the caucuses were scheduled to end.
Mr. Trump’s last major Republican challenger, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, rejected the caucuses as rigged and decided to instead run in Tuesday’s purely symbolic GOP primary — where she was overwhelmingly beaten by the “none of these candidates” option chosen by Trump supporters and disaffected voters.
Republicans are increasingly converging behind Trump while he faces a deluge of legal problems, including 91 criminal charges in four separate cases. Mr. Trump is flexing his influence both in Congress — where Republicans rejected a border security deal after he pushed against it — and at the Republican National Committee, as chairwoman Ronna McDaniel could resign in the coming weeks after he publicly questioned whether she should stay in the job.
Mr. Trump still faces unprecedented jeopardy for a major candidate. A federal appeals panel ruled this week thatMr. Trump can face trial on charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, rejecting his claims that he is immune from prosecution. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case trying to keep Mr. Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. The justices sounded broadly skeptical of the effort.
But none of those developments seem to be hurting his standing among Republicans, including in Nevada.
Nevada’s GOP decided to bypass a primary election prescribed by the Legislature and instead hold caucuses to determine which candidate will receive its delegates, a decision Trump’s team supported.
The resulting system allowed the party more control over who participates and gave Trump a greater advantage than he already would have had, but it left some voters confused. The state GOP required candidates to choose running either in the caucuses or the primary.
Caucuses require candidates to cultivate more grassroots support and spend resources organizing in order to ensure they get voters to show up at an appointed time and location in the evening to show their support. The system tends to benefit Mr. Trump, with his years of backing from the party base along with the years he and his team have spent cultivating local party members.
His campaign has said their early efforts are groundwork for when Nevada will be a political swing state in November.
“Nevada is a battleground state in the general election and everything that we do for the caucus and organizing now will pay dividends in the weeks ahead as we begin the general election against Joe Biden,” Trump’s senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita said. (Agencies)