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Former President Donald Trump is preemptively celebrating in Nevada, confidently predicting that he will secure the majority of the state’s delegates in the upcoming Republican presidential caucuses on February 8th.
Following his triumphs in Iowa and New Hampshire, the 45th president organized a “Commit to Caucus” gathering in Las Vegas. Trump is currently engaged in a contest with Nikki Haley for the Republican nomination as they vie for victory in the primary election taking place on February 24th in her native state of South Carolina.
However, it is important to note that Trump and Haley’s names will not be listed on the same ballot in two distinct Nevada contests. These contests will occur over two weeks before the South Carolina primary, confusing many Nevada voters.
Trump is currently the only candidate participating in the Nevada caucuses, which are organized by the state Republican Party and will allocate the state’s 26 delegates, the Washington Post reported.
“With the help of everyone here today, we’re going to secure a gigantic win in the Nevada caucuses. We’re not going to have a lot of competition, I think, but it doesn’t matter. We want to get a great, beautiful mandate,” Trump said.
“Haley — who was facing a potentially embarrassing loss to Trump in caucuses that are likely to be dominated by GOP base voters loyal to the former president — opted not to compete in that contest. Instead, she placed her name on the ballot in the state-run primary that will take place two days earlier on Feb. 6, a contest that Nevada Republican leaders have described as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Haley’s vote tally will be largely symbolic because no Republican delegates will be awarded through the primary process,” the Washington Post reported.
The report added: “Haley, a former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor, is the only remaining major GOP presidential contender on the primary ballot, which all Nevada voters are receiving in the mail. Former vice president Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) had also planned to compete in the primary, but both have since suspended their campaigns. Primary voters also have an option to choose ‘none of these candidates’ when they fill out their ballot.”
Trump told his audience on Saturday that the primary was irrelevant: “Don’t waste your time on primary, waste all of your time on caucus,” he said. “Because the primary doesn’t mean anything.”
According to regulations established by supporters of Trump who influence Nevada’s Republican Party, presidential candidates were prohibited from participating in both the state-administered primary and the party-administered GOP caucuses, and were required to select one or the other.
“Talk to the people in Nevada, they will tell you the caucuses have been sealed up, bought and paid for a long time. So that’s why we got into the primary,” Haley said when asked by reporters last week why she wasn’t participating in the Nevada caucuses. “That’s the Trump train rolling through that. But we’re going to focus on the states that are fair.”
Jim DeGraffenreid, a member of the Republican National Committee in Nevada, defended the party’s rules and its decision to opt out of the state-run primary.
He said the candidates were “very clear with us that they didn’t have a lot of interest in competing in two separate contests in the same state,” adding that it “made sense all around to say candidates would need to compete in one or the other — and we would award delegates only out of one of them.”
DeGraffenreid stated that the Republican Party officials disagreed with the rules regulating the primary process which were formulated by Democratic lawmakers.: “We don’t agree with sending out universal mail-in ballots that maybe go to voters who are no longer here,” he said. “ … We obviously will play by those rules in a state election where we’re required to do it. But in the party nominating process, we didn’t feel like it made any sense for us to loosen the security of that election.”
However, DeGraffenreid admitted that the presence of two competitions has caused substantial perplexity. According to him, the party received over 900 voicemails exclusively on Thursday night, with numerous voters expressing perplexity regarding the absence of Trump on their primary ballot.