What's at stake? Nevadans vote in Feb. 6 primaries, Republican caucus on Feb. 8

What’s at stake? Nevadans vote in Feb. 6 primaries, Republican caucus on Feb. 8

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Polls open at 7 a.m. for Tuesday’s presidential primary election. If you didn’t cast your ballot early, you can vote until the polls close at 7 p.m.

For Republicans, the Feb. 6 primary won’t determine the party’s nominee. The Nevada Republican Party chose to stick with the caucus — Feb. 8 — to award delegates to presidential candidates. By law, there will be a Republican primary on Tuesday, but state Republicans said any candidate on the primary ballot is ineligible for the caucus, and thus ineligible for delegates.

State law does not prohibit Republicans from participating in both the primary and the caucus.

The major players

  • President Joe Biden, Democratic primary: The overwhelming favorite. Biden’s age is considered his biggest opponent. But the chance Democrats would choose anyone over a sitting president is remote.
  • Marianne Williamson, Democrat primary: The biggest name among Democratic challengers. If there’s an anti-Biden vote, Williamson might recognize her name.
  • Former President Donald J. Trump, Republican caucus: Trump’s supremacy in the caucus was assured when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended his campaign and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley chose to run in the primary. Trump has wide support among Nevada Republicans. Trump has said on social media he plans to be in Nevada for the caucus.
  • Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Republican primary: Hoping to claim a victory of sorts in Nevada with a primary win, Haley is ineligible for delegates. She has shifted her focus to the South Carolina primary.
  • None of the above:
    • Republican primary: On the Republican side, it’s feasible that Haley could place second to “None of the above” in the Nevada Republican primary. But there will be no way to tell why a voter chose this option. There could be a large voting bloc of Trump supporters who vote in the primary — either to express their opposition to other candidates or because they weren’t informed that the caucus will determine the allocation of delegates. News media have reported the situation repeatedly, but it’s likely that there are Republican voters who are unaware Trump will be on the primary ballot.
    • Democratic primary: On the Democrats’ side, “None of the above” could be seen as a vote against Biden because of his age.
    • Republican caucus: It’s not a factor — it’s only a choice that’s possible in the primary.

Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar reported on Monday that the number of active registered voters increased by 9,056 in January. That’s a 0.47% increase since December 2023. The total number of active registered voters in Nevada is 1,933,056. Republicans accounted for the largest increase by far, with 6,749 new registrations. Democrats had only 1,757, and nonpartisans accounted for 1,049.

Nonpartisans (637,227) have the highest numbers in Nevada, with about 33% of all registered voters. Democrats (595,943) are second at about 31% and Republicans (559,743) are third at about 29%. The next-highest is the Independent American Party (84,120), with just over 4%.

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