Former President Donald Trump won the Nevada Republican presidential caucuses on Thursday after being the only major candidate to compete, winning his third state in a row as he tries to secure his party’s nomination.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, his last major opponent in the race, skipped the caucuses even though they were the only race in Nevada that counted for the GOP nomination. Haley cited what she considers an unfair process that favored Trump and instead ran in the symbolic presidential state of Nevada on Tuesday when she finished “none of these candidates.”
Trump will win most, if not all, of the state’s 26 delegates. He needs to collect 1,215 delegates to formally win the party’s nomination and could reach that number in March.
From Nevada, the Republican race continues in Haley’s home state of South Carolina’s primary on February 24. Trump remains popular in the ultra-conservative state, but Haley, who won two elections as governor of South Carolina, is hoping his local roots will give him an advantage. Trump is considering more delegates in the March 5 Super Tuesday election, which would put him closer to becoming the presumptive Republican Party nominee.
Trump, who gave a short victory speech in Las Vegas, was happy with the reports of a long line in the western state and told supporters that he wanted to declare victory in the upcoming primary in South Carolina.
“We’re on top of everything,” he said. “Is there any way to call an election for next Tuesday? That’s all I want.”
Although Trump is the favorite, the Nevada caucuses are seen to be heavily skewed in his favor because of the heavy grassroots support that the caucuses require candidates to tap in a state to win. The Nevada Republican Party gave him a bigger advantage last year when it barred candidates from running in primaries and caucuses and also restricted the role of super PACs, such as groups key to Florida’s gubernatorial campaign. Ron DeSantis, before he quit.
Caucuses usually require voters to show up for an in-person meeting on a set day or time, while elections may offer more flexibility in participation, with polls open to most of Election Day with absentee voting or voting. Nevada Republicans said they want some rules in place, such as a requirement that participants show government-issued identification.