Donald Trump won the Nevada caucuses on Thursday, as expected, while his fellow Republican Nikki Haley was not on the ballot.
Nevada’s election was marred by the confusing way it was conducted, splitting votes between two polls on two different days.
Nonetheless, Nevada Republicans have made it clear that they want Trump to be their nominee against President Biden in the November general election, which is open to all voters.
Trump not only won the caucuses, but his supporters also recorded a resounding protest vote against Haley in the primaries two days earlier.
In the primary – for which Trump was not on the ballot – Haley received around 23,000 voteswhile the “none of these candidates” option received more than 47,000 votes.
Nevada Republicans were able to participate in both the primaries and the caucuses. A prominent Trump supporter, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, said he plans to vote against Haley in the primary and form a caucus for Trump. Clearly, many other Trump supporters did the same.
What happens next?
Trump remains the favorite to win the Republican nomination. Her victory in Nevada nearly doubles the number of delegates, to about 60, compared to Haley’s 17 delegates.
A total of 1,215 delegates are needed to officially clinch the nomination, but Trump could actually do so in a few weeks. The next contest is the South Carolina primary on February 24, followed by Super Tuesday on March 5. 15 states will hold a primary or caucus that day.
If Trump wins overwhelmingly in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday, Haley’s path to the nomination — which is already extremely narrow — will all but disappear.
But if Trump somehow became undesirable in the eyes of the Republican Party, or if he was legally disqualified from running, the…