Nikki Haley is trounced by the ‘none of these candidates’ option in Nevada’s Republican primary



There was also a Democratic primary on Tuesday that President Joe Biden easily won against author Marianne Williamson and a handful of less-known challengers. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota was not on the ballot.Biden issued a statement thanking Nevada voters for their support and, with an eye toward an expected matchup in November, warned that Trump is trying to divide America.”I want to thank the voters of Nevada for sending me and Kamala Harris to the White House four years ago, and for setting us one step further on that same path again tonight. We must organize, mobilize, and vote. Because one day, when we look back, we’ll be able to say, when American democracy was a risk, we saved it—together,” Biden said.Nevada lawmakers added “none of these candidates” as an option in all statewide races as a way post-Watergate for voters to participate but express dissatisfaction with their choices. “None” can’t win an elected office but it came in first in primary congressional contests in 1976 and 1978. It also finished ahead of both George Bush and Edward Kennedy in Nevada’s 1980 presidential primaries.The caucuses on Thursday are the only Nevada contest that counts towards the GOP’s presidential nomination. But they were seen as especially skewed in favour of Trump because of the intense grassroots support they require from candidates and the new state party rules that benefit him further.Trump is expected to handily win the caucuses, which should deliver him all 26 of the state’s delegates. Delegates are party members, activists, and elected officials who vote at the national party conventions to formally select the party’s nominee.”If your goal is to win the Republican nomination for president, you go where the delegates are. And it baffles me that Nikki Haley chose not to participate,” Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, said in an interview before the primary.Nevada, the third state in the field after Iowa and New Hampshire, was set to hold a state-run primary election instead of party-run caucuses after Democrats controlling the Legislature changed the law to try to boost participation.Caucuses typically require voters to show up for an in-person meeting at a certain day or time, while elections can offer more flexibility to participate, with polls open for most of the day on Election Day, along with absentee or early voting.But Nevada Republicans chose to hold party-run caucuses instead, saying they wanted certain rules in place, like a requirement that participants show a government-issued ID.The caucuses require a candidate to intensely organise supporters around the state in order to be competitive, a feat that Trump, the former president and prohibitive front-runner, was easily positioned to do.The Nevada GOP also restricted the involvement of superPACs like the one Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was relying on to boost his now-suspended campaign. And the party barred candidates from appearing both on the primary ballot and in the caucuses.Former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott also signed up to compete in Nevada’s primary instead of the caucuses before ending their presidential campaigns.Jeff Turner, 65, came to the Reno Town Mall with a ballot checked off for “none of these candidates” while also lamenting the increasingly likely November rematch between Biden and Trump.”I think it’s my duty,” Turner said. “I think we all have the right to vote; we ought to vote. And even if it’s none of these candidates, it’s at least stating where I’m at. And I’m hoping others will see that.”



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