Former President Donald Trump easily won the Nevada Republican caucuses on Thursday, according to preliminary results from several rural counties, in which he was functionally the only candidate left on the ballot.
A win in the Silver State would secure 26 delegates for Trump, his largest delegate gain to date, and would mark his third electoral victory ahead of the Republican primary in South Carolina later this month that could clinch the former president’s Republican nomination in 2024. Can seal it.
Ryan Binkley, a pastor and banking CEO in Texas, was the only other active candidate on the caucus ballot.
Preliminary results showed that he received less than 1 percent of the vote. Four additional candidates – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – filed to participate in the caucuses last October, but long before Thursday’s contest. That’s when his campaign ended.
Trump’s victory in Nevada followed wins in Iowa – where he defeated second-place Ron DeSantis by nearly 30 points – and in New Hampshire, where he defeated former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley by nearly 11 percentage points.
Hours before Thursday’s Nevada caucuses, Trump also won a caucus in the US Virgin Islands by 48 points.
“If we win this state, we’ll easily win the November election,” Trump told the crowd gathered at the hotel and casino. treasure Island In Las Vegas on Thursday night after the former president’s race was declared. “We have to win the elections.”
The former president’s victory also follows another victory Tuesday, when “none of these candidates” defeated Haley by a 2-1 margin in the Nevada Republican primary.
In the original Republican field, only three major candidates – Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott – filed to run in the primary, but Pence and Scott also ended their campaigns early.
The state Republican Party adopted rules prohibiting challengers from running in both races, and delegates were allocated only to caucus participants.
‘Is there any way we can hold elections next Tuesday?’
at a victory party in strip or the Las Vegas casino strip, Trump seemed eager to take the race straight to President Joe Biden.
In a brief speech long before substantial results were known in Clark or Washoe counties, Trump turned to polling numbers that show him trailing Biden in the states. Swing Or undecided partisan preferences that matter in elections and asked: “Is there any way we can call the election next Tuesday? It’s all I want”.
When Trump walked off the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m., only 371 votes had been cast in six rural counties — although several thousand voters were counted by media outlets early Thursday at polling sites in the south and north of Nevada. Was.
At about 10 p.m., Clark County’s total of more than 23,000 votes brought Trump’s margin of victory above 99 percent.
Trump also criticized immigration and called on the Supreme Court to “protect democracy,” in an apparent reference to a case filed Thursday over whether states have the power to remove Trump from the ballot using the 14th Amendment.
“Hopefully the Supreme Court will do something to help our country and preserve democracy,” Trump said.
The party of observers became the winning party
Euphoric Trump supporters filled a room at Treasure Island, many of them wearing white hats with the message “Captain Team Trump” to show their roles as caucus captains, who were in charge of counting the votes.
Eva Landau served as caucus captain. He said that after watching the hand count and being a part of it, he regained his confidence in the election process.
“It was very, very exciting… This is how it should be – elections. The counting is done by hand,” said Landau, who was wearing a T-shirt with the message “Latinas for Trump.” “You say, ‘Okay, Trump.’ Show it to the cameras, show it to the people, a row until you get five, right? “That’s the transparency we need in the United States.”
For Landau, 43 and originally from Bolivia, immigration, border security and human trafficking are her main concerns. These themes dominated Trump’s speech during an event in East Las Vegas two weeks ago.
Asked how much Trump appeals to Latino voters, who polls show are key to winning the election, political consultant and Trump supporter Jesus Marquez said nevada independent At the caucus site he attended, he saw “many” Latino faces.
“Just the fact that Latinos are joining the caucus (is significant because) that doesn’t typically happen,” Marquez said. “(Trump) not only won, but he inspired people to go out and vote… Even though there was no competition for him in this caucus, this is the beginning of a grassroots operation to win the state in November . “This is the beginning of it – we are already in general election mode.”
One week, two elections
This week’s split Republican race — primaries and caucuses — is the final result of a months-long dispute between the Nevada GOP set to hold a traditional caucus and a 2021 state law that establishes presidential preference primaries for both major parties.
In May 2023, the Nevada Republican Party sued the state to stop the primary approximately four months before the decision to hold caucuses was finalized. In July, a state judge ruled that both the primary and caucuses could proceed. Republicans and the state ultimately agreed to drop the lawsuit in January.
But the state Republican Party has formed its own caucus as a way to reject several Democratic-backed election policy reforms adopted since 2020, including universal voting by mail.
Under party rules, the caucus requires voting in person, with select exceptions, and commits to using ballots and identification to vote.
Some Republicans have criticized Nevada’s caucus rules as designed to benefit Trump, but the party has rejected those challenges.
Myriad connections between state Republican Party leadership and the Trump campaign are also in question.