Report: GOP not well-equipped to run the caucuses
Following President Biden’s landslide victory in Nevada’s historic First in the West primary, led by energized turnout from key constituency communities across the state, new reporting from the Las Vegas Sun details how Republicans’ caucus chaos – which they created all to rig the process for Donald Trump – has them worried about their own operation in state. From being unable to previously lock down caucus locations to confusing their own voters, it’s no secret that they’re in for a mess tomorrow. The contrast is clear: while the Nevada GOP is committed to seeing their chaos through, Democrats are laser-focused on the work necessary over the next ten months to re-elect President Biden and Vice President Harris to a second term.
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Wednesday, February 7, 2024
- Clark County residents encountered rain and overcast conditions Tuesday when they left their homes for the polls to vote in the first Nevada presidential preference primary.
- Even though President Joe Biden was a lock to win his primary against a field of long shots, Nevada Democrats seemed motivated to give the incumbent a strong symbolic vote of support. He received 90% of the vote statewide and was declared the winner about two hours after polls closed.
- The participation of Democrats in the primary dwarfed that of Republicans, at least judging by the number of mail ballots submitted to election officials through the end of early voting Friday. About 93,000 Democrats had voted in comparison to just 57,000 Republicans in that early voting period, according to the Nevada Secretary of State.
- But those voting in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary won’t have their voice heard in picking a candidate to earn delegates from Nevada for the Republican National Convention July 15-18 in Milwaukee.
- That’s because the Nevada Republican Party on Thursday is hosting its independently operated caucuses and using the result to determine its delegates to Milwaukee. State Republican Party rules dictate candidates can’t participate in both the primary and caucuses.
- The Republican caucuses in 2016 featured 74,878 participants, or about 17% of Nevada’s 437,520 active Republican voters at the time.
- But Trump campaign officials aren’t expecting 17% of Republicans to show up on Thursday. They worried voter turnout in the primary would easily surpass that of Thursday’s caucuses, according to a report from Axios.
- The concerns of a low turnout at the caucuses come despite Trump rallying here late last month to urge supporters to caucus, instructing them to ditch the primary and to only participate in the caucus.
- “Don’t vote (in the primary), that’s two days earlier (than the caucuses),” Trump told the roughly 2,000 attendees at a Las Vegas rally. “Don’t use the mail-in ballots. Don’t do anything. It’s a meaningless event. There are no delegates. It’s a con job.”
- Maybe Trump doesn’t have the pull here thinks he has.
- Senior advisers to Trump are unhappy with the campaign’s Nevada state director, Alida Benson, after learning that caucus planning was not coming along “as well as they liked,” two sources told Axios.
- Those sources also told Axios “when it became clear that Nevada’s GOP and the party in Clark County … were not well-equipped to run the caucuses, the campaign blamed Benson for not activating volunteers and dragging the campaign into a chaotic process.”
- The Sun has previously reported that the party has struggled locking down locations for its caucuses. It published a list of caucus sites online, and then had to alter the document when the Clark County School District denied facility requests because the voting event conflicted with after-school activities like sporting events.
- The noncompetitive races this week won’t be a theme in November. Biden and Trump appear to be on track for a rematch of the 2020 election, where Biden prevailed in Nevada by about 30,000 votes.
- Nevada has voted for the Democrat in the past four presidential elections dating to 2008 when Barack Obama won his first term as president.