Nevada Republicans, unlike most other states, can vote twice in the presidential nomination process: in a primary and in caucuses. Here’s an explanation of this confusing scenario, how it came to be and what it means for the biggest 2024 GOP contest.
Nevada will hold its Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. Two days later, the state GOP will hold caucuses.
The Silver State has always held caucuses, but after Iowa’s 2020 debacle, its legislature voted to hold a presidential primary in 2024. The state’s Republican Party sued to try to undo the change. Although the lawsuit failed, the Nevada GOP was allowed to hold its own caucuses. The state party said any candidate who participated in the Nevada primary could not participate in its caucuses.
What is the difference between a primary and a caucus?
In a primary, voters typically cast their ballots over several hours, days, or weeks, either in person, through early voting centers or drop boxes, or by mail. In Nevada, voters all received ballots by mail. Early voting ended Friday; voters will be able to vote in person on Tuesday.
In caucuses, voters meet in person at a set time on a given day, leading some to argue that such a process disenfranchises people who cannot attend such a gathering. The Nevada GOP will hold its in-person caucus in precincts across the state on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Republican voters can participate in both primaries and caucuses. (The Democratic primary is also Tuesday. With the party’s incumbent on the ballot, the outcome is largely considered a foregone conclusion. Still, President Biden planned to campaign in Nevada on Sunday, a sign of the importance of the state in the general context. election.)
Does this change have anything to do with the Trump campaign?
Seeking to avoid the randomness of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, his current advisers have made strategic and surgical efforts to shape GOP rules in states across the country ahead of this year’s primary season to allow him to conclude the party’s inauguration more quickly.
The state Republican parties of Nevada, California and Michigan are among those that have changed their rules for awarding delegates ahead of the 2024 primaries in a way that benefits the former president, although party officials states argued that the rule changes were not designed to benefit anyone. candidate.
So, do Nevadans’ votes really count?
Although Republican voters can participate in both primaries and caucuses, the state GOP has maintained that any candidate on the primary ballot cannot participate in its caucuses. The state’s 26 delegates will be awarded through the caucuses, and the winner will be Trump.
His only competitor in the Nevada caucuses is by far: Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley.
Nikki Haley is the only Republican candidate remaining in the Nevada primary. (Former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who suspended their presidential bids, will also appear on the ballot, as will an option for “None of the above.”)
For her expected victory in the primary, Haley could make headlines.
But she opted out of the Nevada caucuses and did not mention the state in her election night speech in New Hampshire, prompting Trump to declare shortly after his speech: “I’m happy to announce that we have just won Nevada. »
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