Why Trump and Nikki Haley Won’t Share the Same Ballot in Nevada

Trump and Nikky
Credits: Bloomberg.com

Nevada, a historically significant battleground in the Republican presidential nomination, is witnessing an unusual scenario this year. As the state prepares for caucuses on Thursday to allocate delegates to the national convention, former President Donald Trump faces minimal opposition, virtually running unopposed.

Notably, his main GOP rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, opted not to include her name on the caucus ballot, instead participating in Tuesday’s state-run primary, which, mandated by state law, doesn’t allocate delegates.

This split in approach raises questions about the primary and caucus processes, the reasons behind the division, and the absence of both Trump and Haley on the same ballot.

Donald Trump and Nikki Haley
Trump gives reason why he won’t share the same ballot with Nikki Haley in Nevada (Credits: People)

Nevada’s caucuses are scheduled for Thursday, primarily from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET, with a part of the state on Mountain Time an hour earlier. The official state presidential preference primary for both parties is set for Tuesday.

The distinction between the primary and the caucuses stems from Nevada’s response to the National Democratic Party’s efforts to revamp the presidential nominating calendar.

In 2021, Nevada enacted a law mandating a state-run primary on the first Tuesday of February if multiple candidates filed. However, the state GOP, in defiance, decided to conduct caucuses, the sole recognized contest by the national Republican Party for delegate allocation.

In this unopposed scenario, Trump is the primary candidate in the GOP caucuses, with pastor Ryan Binkley as the only other contender.

On the other hand, Haley is the sole major candidate on the state-run primary ballot, making her ineligible for delegate allocation. On the Democratic side, Joe Biden faces little competition in Nevada’s second party-sanctioned primary.

While registered Republican voters can participate in both the primary and caucuses, changes to party affiliation after a January 9 deadline make voters ineligible for caucuses.

Expectations for turnout this year are challenging due to the split system, virtually uncontested contests, and the absence of recent presidential primaries in Nevada. Previous peak turnouts were around 118,000 for Democrats in 2008 and over 75,000 for Republicans in 2016.

The caucuses, comprising about 1,528 precincts, necessitate voters to visit specific precincts with government-issued ID for in-person voting. The state-run primary, conducted at early-voting sites and by mail, caters to registered voters with mailed-out ballots. Early voting for the GOP caucuses is unavailable except for the absentee option.

Regarding delegate allocation, 26 delegates are at stake for the GOP, while the Democrats have 49, both awarded proportionally. These numbers represent around 1% of each party’s national delegates.

The unique circumstances in Nevada’s nominating process highlight the complexities arising from changes in state laws, party dynamics, and individual candidate strategies, contributing to an unprecedented and somewhat fragmented political landscape.

I see content writing as a way to express myself. Aside from following celebrities and staying abreast of all the buzz in the entertainment world, I'm an entertaionment savvy guy. I spend time researching topics that you will likely enjoy reading about next.