Trump’s allies in the Nevada GOP ensured the victory of “none of these candidates” over Nikki Haley

(Tom R. Smedes / Associated Press)

Trump’s allies in the Nevada GOP ensured the victory of “none of these candidates” over Nikki Haley


February 7, 2024

Even without Donald Trump in Nevada’s Republican vote, Nikki Haley was denied her first victory.

The outrage of a distant second place behind none of these candidates was another blow to Haley, made possible by the staunch Trump allies who lead the Republican Party in Nevada. They had already maneuvered to ensure Trump would keep an eye on the state’s 26 delegates, who will be rewarded Thursday in caucuses where he faces only token opposition.

Rarely has a campaign without the above had so much power behind it.

Formally, the Trump campaign told supporters to only worry about Thursday, but many of his allies on state and local Republican committees announced they could still show support for Trump by registering their opposition to Haley.

Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and governor of South Carolina, did not campaign in Nevada and said Trump’s allies had rigged the rules in his favor.

Ultimately, the disrespect shown to us by Nikki Haley was simply reciprocated,” Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said Tuesday evening.

With 86% of the expected votes counted, none of these candidates led Haley by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Nevada lawmakers did not add either of these candidates as an option in all statewide races in the wake of the Watergate scandal as a way for voters to participate but express dissatisfaction with their choices. No one can win elected office, but came first in the congressional primaries in 1976 and 1978. It also finished ahead of both George


Bush and Edward


Kennedy in the 1980 Nevada presidential primaries for their respective parties.

McDonald said it was left up to each county GOP chairman to decide whether they did not want to promote any of these candidates on the ballot.

“I was behind them 1,000%,” he said of the Republican chairs. When I was asked, I said, Look, I can’t tell you how to vote. [but] I can tell you how I vote.

McDonald is fiercely loyal to Trump and is one of the six so-called

fake voters

indicted by a grand jury in Nevada for submitting certificates to Congress falsely declaring him the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

Nevada, the third state in 2024

GOP nominating contest field

After Iowa and New Hampshire, state primaries would be held instead of party-led caucuses after Democrats controlling the Legislature changed the law in an effort to increase participation.

But Nevada Republicans opted to hold party-led caucuses instead, saying they wanted to impose certain rules, such as requiring attendees to show government-issued ID.

Thursday’s caucuses are the only contests in Nevada that will count toward the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. But they were seen as particularly lopsided in Trump’s favor because of the intense base support they need from candidates and new state party rules that further benefit him.

Haley certainly thought so. Her campaign criticized the process, refused to pay the $55,000 fee to participate in the caucuses, and made no effort to campaign in Nevada, opting instead to pull out all the stops in her home state of South Carolina, where Republicans vote later this month.

The state GOP banned candidates who had registered for the primaries from participating in the caucuses. Election officials reported widespread confusion


because voters who expected to vote for Trump did not see him on their ballot.

Washoe County GOP Chairman Bruce Parks, who pushed the decision to promote caucuses, said in an interview that he told voters who called his office and Trump supporters to participate in the primaries by not voting for any of these candidates. votes on top of Haley.

They basically told us they didn’t care about us, Parks said in an interview Tuesday night. By not highlighting any of these candidates, we respond in the same way that we don’t consider you important either.

Trump campaigned in Nevada 10 days before the primaries and urged his supporters to focus on the caucuses, saying the primaries mean nothing.”

“Don’t waste your time on the primaries,” he said.

But his supporters in the state made sure voters knew how to support him anyway.

My job as party boss is to get people to vote,” said Nye County Republican Party Chairman Leo Blundo. ‘So we kept it simple so people can just vote ‘none of the above’. If you want to vote for Trump, vote for “none of the above,” that’s all. And that makes people vote.


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