‘None Of These Candidates’ More Than Doubles Nikki Haley’s Vote Tally In Trump-Less Nevada Primary
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 01: Republican presidential candidate, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at the Doc's Barbeque and Southern Buffet restaurant on February 01, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. Haley continues campaigning against former President Donald Trump in her home state of South Carolina ahead of the state's Republican primary on February 24.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is attempting to catch up with Donald Trump in the Republican primary, took less than a third of the vote in the Nevada primary on Tuesday even though Trump wasn’t on the ballot.

Haley won 31% of the vote in the state while 63% of those who participated in the primary chose “None of These Candidates” with 93% of the vote counted, according to Decision Desk HQ. The results are merely symbolic as the Nevada Republican Party will award its 26 delegates in the party’s caucus on Thursday, where Trump will be on the ballot. A new law passed by the Democrat-run Nevada legislature required a Republican primary, but the state GOP opted to maintain its traditional caucus system.

The Haley campaign said earlier this week that it did “not [spend] a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada,” slamming the state’s GOP process as “rigged for Trump.” Instead, Haley has remained focused on her home state of South Carolina, which will hold its primary on February 24.

The Nevada Republican Party required a $55,000 filing fee to take part in the caucus and barred candidates from participating in the caucus if they chose to put their names on the ballot for the primary. Around 80,000 people participated in the Republican primary, according to an estimate from NBC News.

“We made the decision early on that we were not going to pay $55,000 to a Trump entity … to participate in a process that was rigged for Trump,” Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney said, The Hill reported.

“So Nevada is not and has never been our focus,” Ankney added. “Truly not sure what the Trump team is out to there, but they seem pretty spun up about it. But we are focused on South Carolina.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott also opted to participate in the primary before they ended their presidential campaigns. Pence came away with 4% and Scott took a little over 1% of the vote on Tuesday.

Trump, who won the first two GOP contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, commented on the Nevada primary results in a post on Truth Social.


“A bad night for Nikki Haley. Losing by almost 30 points in Nevada to ‘None of These Candidates,’” the former president wrote. “Watch, she’ll soon claim Victory!”

Nevada Democrats passed a law requiring a primary in an attempt to get more people to participate by allowing early voting and mail-in ballots. The state GOP, however, wanted to keep its caucus system, arguing that it’s more secure and requires candidates to focus on organizing support throughout the state, The Associated Press reported.

Trump campaign advisor Chris LaCivita slammed Haley’s decision to forego the Nevada GOP’s caucus.

“If your goal is to win the Republican nomination for president, you go where the delegates are. And it baffles me that Nikki Haley chose not to participate,” LaCivita said.

Haley’s next big test comes in a little over two weeks when South Carolina Republicans will go to the polls to choose their preferred candidate. Trump is leading the former ambassador to the U.N. by 27 points in the state, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

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