The 2024 Republican presidential primaries have finally narrowed down to only two candidates—President Donald Trump and former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley—who will soon again face off to win another early battleground state: Nevada.
The Silver State, however, will conduct its election differently than in years past, holding parallel races only days apart.
Nevada will hold a state-run primary election for Republicans on Feb. 6 and a party-run caucus two days later on Feb. 8, a break from their solo past state caucus.
Interestingly, Haley’s and Trump’s names will not appear on both the primary and the caucus ballots.
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Haley’s name only will appear on the state’s primary ballot, and Trump’s name will appear on the caucus ballot. However, solely the caucus results will determine the winner of Nevada’s 26 delegates—not its non-binding primary.
Traditionally, contests were held using a caucus, a quite popular primary election system, and Nevada left it up to the political parties to decide how to choose the victor of their primaries.
Unlike state-run primaries, 13 U.S. states or territories feature contests similar to caucuses on their ballots for 2024.
To the dismay of the state’s Republican Party, Nevada did, however, recently replace its caucus system with a state-run primary election.
The state legislature of Nevada, which is controlled by Democrats, approved a bill in 2021 switching the state from party-run caucuses to state-run primaries.
The Republican Party of Nevada chose to proceed with their own caucuses in order to select the delegates for their party’s nominee, despite their strong dissatisfaction with the proposal.
By virtue of this rule, Trump is the only major candidate eligible to receive delegates in Nevada, and Haley’s presence on the non-binding primary ballot will have absolutely no bearing on who carries the state’s delegates.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had originally been named to the caucus ballot with Trump, but following the governor’s move to suspend his campaign on Sunday, the president is essentially running unopposed in the state.
Trump first won the state’s caucus in 2016, taking 46 percent of the vote by 22 points against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
In 2020, Nevada’s Republican Party canceled their presidential caucus, citing that it would only “waste money” because of the “inevitable conclusion” that the president would win all the delegates.
Haley will seemingly skip campaigning in the Silver State, a decision highly criticized by Trump, and will instead begin her crusade throughout her home state of South Carolina—the next primary state after Nevada.
Along with Nevada, the U.S. Virgin Islands will also hold a caucus on Thursday, Feb. 8, with four delegates up for grabs.