LAS VEGAS – Former President Donald Trump won the Nevada Republican presidential caucuses Thursday after being the only major candidate to compete.
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley skipped the caucuses, which are the only race in Nevada that counts for the Republican nomination. Haley cited what she considered an unfair process that favored Trump, and she instead ran in Nevada’s symbolic state presidential primary on Tuesday, when she finished behind “none of these candidates.”
Trump’s victory in Nevada gives him the state’s 26 delegates. He needs to amass 1,215 delegates to formally win the party’s nomination and could reach that number in March.
Although Trump has been the favorite, the Nevada caucuses were seen as especially skewed in his favor because of the intense grassroots support that caucuses require candidates to tap into in a state in order to win. Last year, Nevada’s state party banned candidates from running in both primaries and caucuses and also restricted the role of super PACs, such as the groups that were key to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign before. that he left.
Caucuses typically require voters to appear for an in-person meeting on a set day or time, while elections may offer more flexibility to participate, with polls open for most of Election Day along with absentee voting or voting. anticipated. Nevada Republicans said they wanted certain rules in place, such as a requirement that participants show a government-issued ID.
Trump supporters stood in long lines Thursday. At a meeting place at a Reno-area elementary school, a line of nearly 1,000 people stretched around the corner and down the street 20 minutes into the meetings.
Voters in line, some of whom wore Trump hats and T-shirts, said they came out to support the former president in a race that would give him a third consecutive victory in the Republican presidential race.
“I think it’s about getting behind Trump and giving him the support he needs. And to let people know that we support him,” said Heather Kirkwood, 47.
Trump has long been immensely popular among Nevada Republicans, but he perceived other advantages among key party figures. Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald and state Republican National Committeeman Jim DeGraffenreid were among six state Republicans charged with felonies for being so-called bogus electors who sent certificates to Congress claiming falsely that Trump won Nevada in 2020.
From Nevada, the Republican race moves on to the South Carolina primary on February 24. Trump remains popular in the deeply conservative state, but Haley, who won two elections as governor of South Carolina, hopes to benefit from her home-state advantage. Trump is considering a large number of delegates during the March 5 Super Tuesday election, which would bring him closer to becoming the presumptive Republican Party nominee.