Feb 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"None of these candidates" beats Nikki Haley in Nevada GOP primary, AP projects

epublican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally at the New Realm Brewing Co. on February 04, 2024 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally on Feb. 4 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took second place in Nevada's primary on Tuesday to "none of these candidates," AP projects.

Why it matters: The largely symbolic contest didn't include former President Trump on the ballot. Trump is instead participating in the Nevada caucuses on Thursday, the only contest in the state that will award delegates to count towards the nominating process.

  • One option on Nevada primary ballots was "none of these candidates," which ended up outperforming Haley, former Vice President Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

Zoom in: The unusual set-up comes after a 2021 Nevada law said that a state-run primary must take place if more than one candidate files for president, largely in response to concerns over inconsistencies during the 2020 Democratic caucuses.

  • The Nevada Republican Party, led by allies of the former president, opposed the rule change and still proceeded with the caucuses, all but ensuring that Trump sweeps the state's 26 delegates.
  • Candidates were only allowed to participate in one of the contests, but voters are able to vote in both.

Zoom out: Haley on Monday called the Nevada caucuses "rigged" for Trump, adding that her campaign has not "spent a dime nor an ounce of energy" on the state.

  • "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 campaign manager Betsy Ankney said.

What's next: Haley's campaign is focused on her home state of South Carolina's primary, scheduled for Feb. 24.

Go deeper: Trump's team worries about a hollow victory in Nevada

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