Nikki Haley received a dose of reality in Nevada last night. The former ambassador to the United Nations was a heavy favorite in the Silver State’s primary because Donald Trump was not on the ballot.
But she lost to nobody.
CBS News reports:
The top vote-getter in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in Nevada wasn’t former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the only major candidate on the ballot still in the race. Instead, Nevada voters mounted a ballot-box protest and gave the most votes to “None of these candidates,” a ballot option required by state law.
CBS News projected the “none of these candidates” category as the winner, with Haley finishing with the second-most votes. With 61% of precincts reporting, “None of these candidates” had received about 61% of the vote, with Haley significantly behind with 32%.
Former President Donald Trump did not appear on the ballot. Gov. Joe Lombardo, Nevada’s Republican chief executive, endorsed Trump and publicly indicated his intent to cast his ballot for “none of these candidates.” A significant number of Trump supporters appear to have followed the governor’s lead.
Haley’s campaign stated that that the underwhelming results would have no affect how long the former UN ambassador stays in the race.
“Even Donald Trump knows that when you play penny slots, the house wins. We didn’t bother to play a game rigged for Trump. We’re full steam ahead in South Carolina and beyond,” spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said.
The outcome of the Republican presidential primary in Nevada would not have made any significant difference to Haley’s chances of securing the GOP nomination. Had she won the primary, she would not have received any delegates.
Yahoo News explained, “Nevada Democrats were trying to move their state up in the nominating process, to take advantage of the national party’s desire to give more-diverse states a bigger role. And ultimately, the Democratic National Committee did move Nevada’s primary to second in the process, after South Carolina.
President Biden, as expected, handily won the Nevada Democratic primary on Tuesday.
But Nevada Republicans did not want to use a primary, and last year the Nevada GOP insisted on using a caucus. They got their wish, but when the Nevada GOP also tried to get the state primary canceled, state officials refused.
Trump will be on the Nevada ballot later this week when the Nevada Republican Party holds its GOP caucuses. That contest, and not the primary, will decide who wins Nevada’s 26 delegates, and the former president is expected to win.”
Haley has not campaigned in Nevada because she claims the state party has “rigged” the caucuses for Trump.