The ongoing and tumultuous long-distance battle between Donald Trump and Nikki Haley taking place in Nevada is causing a significant amount of confusion among Republican voters within the state. The two are set to compete separately, Haley in the primaries and Trump in the caucuses, which are both happening today.
According to reports by NBC News, thousands of voters have been contacting local officials due to their confusion over the ballot. The favorite candidate for many of these voters is Trump, who holds around 50% in the polls. These voters are unaware that in order to vote for him, they must attend the caucuses, the results of which will determine the allocation of delegates.
Trump, delegates secured yet a risk of low turnout exists
Trump’s team has already virtually secured all 26 Nevada delegates. However, this does not stop his team from feeling concerned over the confusing primaries. They fear that a low turnout at the caucuses could potentially be used by Haley to highlight Trump’s failure, a point she could use in their vital showdown in South Carolina on February 24th.
As per Axios, there is a concern within Trump’s team that their decision to participate in caucuses instead of primaries, as requested by state Republicans, could backfire politically. The rules stipulate that those participating in the primaries cannot then participate in the caucuses.
The origin of the chaos in Nevada
This chaotic situation came about due to a decision by the Nevada Legislative Assembly, controlled by Democrats, to accept the restructured primary calendar. The change was advocated for by the Democratic Party and Joe Biden, in order to give more significance to the Nevada vote and its substantial Hispanic electorate. This transformed the caucuses, which are party-controlled, into state-organized primaries.
The Nevada Republican Party, however, rejected the change and in May accused Democrats of attempting to manipulate the Republican selection process for the presidential candidate by allowing external interests to interfere. Thus, the Nevada Republicans decided to stick with the caucuses scheduled for February 8, rendering the Haley-registered primaries irrelevant as they won’t allocate delegates for the convention.