Nevada was part of the 2020 ultra MAGA assault on American democracy, in which Donald Trump tried to steal the most recent presidential election, a gambit which he lost and that has saddled “The Donald” with a four indictments and millions of dollars in legal fees. He has crafted an actual fix to lock in the Silver State’s delegates to the 2024 Republican National Convention.
The Trump forces, who run the party in Nevada, refused to utilize the results of the state-run presidential primary on Tuesday. They will instead use caucuses on Thursday to choose the Silver State’s convention delegates.
Republican presidential candidates were given the choice of campaigning in a meaningless primary, or contesting in the caucuses. But not both.
The Trump-friendly delegate selection plan effectively left Nikki Haley on the beauty contest primary ballot, but left out of the party-run caucuses.
“We have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada,” Betsy Ankney, Haley’s campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.
Trump flew in for a rally late last month, and told followers not to vote in the “meaningless” primary. Behind the scenes, however, the campaign passed the word for ultra MAGA forces to mark the “None of These Candidates” box that Nevada law makes available to presidential primary voters.
The result has been a double win for Trump this week.
He wanted Haley to look ugly in the beauty contest. She did. “None of These Candidates” was trouncing Haley by a two-to-one margin last night. And Trump will harvest all of Nevada’s delegates from the caucuses tomorrow night..
The early-season Nevada primary was a creation of the late United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a force in Silver State politics. He set out to make what Nevada political pundit Jon Ralston dubbed a we matter state.
Reid argued that the West needed a voice in picking the Democrats’ presidential nominee. He touted the diversity of his state. Nevada has a big Latino population, plus a growing and surprisingly large number of Asians and Pacific Islanders in its electorate. The Culinary Workers Union, representing casino employees, gives organized labor a powerful presence in Las Vegas.
What happens in Las Vegas – politically – does not stay in Vegas. The city’s ballots gave Joe Biden six much-needed electoral votes in 2020: Biden carried Nevada with just 50.1 percent of the vote. A big Las Vegas majority tipped the scales for Nevada’s Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro, the last 2022 Senate race to be decided. Cortez Mastro won by fewer than 8,000 votes.
President Biden was taking 89% of the vote in last night’s Nevada primary. Although virtually unopposed, the 46th President has campaigned and raised money in the state. Vice President Kamala Harris also appeared to turn out the vote and turn up enthusiasm among Democratic voters.
“The late, great Harry Reid always reminded us: If you can win in Nevada, you can win anywhere,” Harris told a rally. “Harry, President Biden and I are going to prove you right once again.”