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Nikki Haley loses to ‘none of these candidates’ in GOP primary

Updated February 7, 2024 - 12:29 am

Nikki Haley lost to “none of these candidates” in the Nevada Republican Primary on Tuesday night, The Associated Press called at 9 p.m., two hours after the polls closed.

With GOP frontrunner Donald Trump off the ballot, more than 60 percent of Republican voters chose the “none of these candidates” option on the primary ballot. GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who chose to participate in the primary rather than Thursday’s caucuses, received nearly 31 percent of the votes, as of 12 a.m., when more than 67,000 Republican votes had been counted.

The state-mandated primary does not result in the awarding of any delegates for the Republican National Convention in July, since the Nevada Republican Party chose to keep its traditional caucuses in place. Those caucuses will be held Thursday, and candidates Donald Trump and Ryan Binkley will be participating.

Trump posted on his social media platform Tuesday night that it was a “bad night” for Haley, losing by almost 30 points to “none of these candidates.”

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald congratulated the campaign of “none of the above” Tuesday night, saying he thought they did a wonderful job.

“I think the Republican voters spoke, and there will be more to come Thursday night,” McDonald told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday night.

Haley’s supporters have expressed frustration over the primary and caucuses, accusing the Nevada Republican Party of rigging the caucuses for Trump. Some said they would participate in the primary to show support, knowing she will not receive delegates.

At the Veterans Memorial Leisure Center in Summerlin, Roger Smith did just that.

“I’ll vote for anybody but Mr. Trump,” the 77-year-old said. He expressed frustration about the two processes and said, “the Republican Party is no longer the party of the people. It’s a small group of people who are following a demagogue.”

This isn’t the first time Nevadans didn’t like the candidate options in an election. In 2014, Democratic voters chose “none of these candidates” over Robert “Bob” Goodman in the primary race for governor.

Throughout Haley’s campaign for president, the former governor of South Carolina largely skipped over Nevada, the “first in the West” state for both Republicans and Democrats in the presidential primary state line-up.

She visited Las Vegas in October for the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership summit, an event that draws big Republican names every year. Other than that event, Haley has avoided the Silver State, choosing to focus on the Republican Party’s other early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won Nevada’s nomination, The Associated Press called at 8:39 p.m.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X. Staff reporter Christopher Lawrence contributed to this report.

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