Haley loses to ‘none of the candidates’ in Nevada primary as Biden seals easy win | US elections 2024

Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassing defeat in Nevada’s Republican presidential primary contest, when she was beaten by the “none of these candidates” option, despite Donald Trump’s absence from the ballot.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, secured another primary victory after his nearest challenger, Marianne Williamson, registered only in the low single digits. The AP called the results about two hours after polls closed on a soggy and subdued election day in Nevada.

The “none of these candidates” option beat Nikki Haley in the state’s Republican presidential primary contest, the AP projected, an embarrassing result for the former UN ambassador who was the only major candidate on the ballot.

The race is essentially meaningless in the nominating process, however, as the big event for Republicans is on Thursday, when the GOP will hold caucuses with Donald Trump on the ballot that will determine the actual delegates sent to the Republican national convention.

Nevada results

Haley did not make much of an effort to campaign in Nevada, saying that the process was “rigged” for Trump.

Perhaps due to voters’ confusion about the dual elections, and the availability of early and mail-in voting options the primaries, in-person turnout on Tuesday appeared low.

About 15,700 people voted at the polls, according to the secretary of state’s office, while about 151,000 voted early. There was no clear barometer to measure turnout, however, given that these were Nevada’s first presidential primaries after decades of holding caucuses. State legislators voted in 2021 to change how voters choose their presidential candidates, arguing that the primary format was more accessible.

Nevada Democratic primary

“We’re a 24/7 economy and people need efficiency when they’re working,” said Cisco Aguilar, Nevada’s secretary of state. “They can get that efficiency through a primary process.”

In Las Vegas’s eastside, one polling location in a high school had just 23 people show up to vote, while about 15 election workers milled around, waiting. A handful of people shuffled inside to drop off ballots. Among them were Virginia Christiansen, 71, and Jerry Christiansen, 77, who voted for Biden. “I’ve got no complaints about him,” said Jerry, a retired carpenter who had helped build the high school. “I don’t see why he’s not getting credit.”

In a key swing state that was crucial to Biden’s election in 2020, the primary will be an imperfect measure of how activated voters are.

“I want to thank the voters of Nevada for sending me and Kamala Harris to the White House four years ago, and for setting us one step further on that same path again tonight,” said Biden after the AP called the primary for him. “We must organize, mobilize, and vote. Because one day, when we look back, we’ll be able to say, when American democracy was a risk, we saved it — together.”

Harris similarly signaled toward the November general election. “We look forward to returning to Nevada often as we move towards the general election,” she said.

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A pro-Biden Super Pac recently reserved a record $250m in advertising across seven battleground states, including Nevada, with an eye on mobilizing disaffected younger voters and Latino and Black voters.

In Henderson – just south of Las Vegas – Molly, a floppy dalmatian who was certified as a therapy dog, was there to help voters experiencing election day stress. “She’s here to be pet,” said Paul Beaton, a business license supervisor with the city and Molly’s owner.

A slow trickle of voters came through the city hall polling location, damp from the heavy rains outside, and some dampened in spirit.

“I’m not completely thrilled but I think [Biden’s] the lesser of two evils,” said Donny Lord, 45. “I think overall he’s doing the bare minimum of what he could be doing.”

Economic woes were top of mind for many voters. On election morning, union organizers – who have been key to mobilizing Democratic voters in the state – said they were most focused on campaigning for higher wages for stadium workers ahead of the Super Bowl this weekend. “There will be plenty of time to talk about politics,” said D Taylor, president of the Unite Here union, at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The state’s powerful Culinary Workers Union, which is also helping organize workers at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, where the Super Bowl will be held, is planning a mass voter mobilization effort in the later this year, ahead of the general election.

“From union workers in Las Vegas to teachers in Reno, Nevadans across the Silver State have set the stage to defeat Donald Trump and Maga Republicans once again this November,” said the Democratic National Committee chair, Jaime Harrison, in a statement after polls closed. “Nevada’s first-in-the-west primary is emblematic of Democrats’ commitment to uplifting voters of color, engaging the diverse coalitions that are the bedrock of the Democratic party, and making it easier for everyone to make their voices heard.”

First appeared on www.theguardian.com

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