© Reuters. A voter casts her poll within the state’s Democratic and Republican presidential main election, held two days earlier than a competing Republican presidential caucus, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. February 6, 2024. REUTERS/David Swanson
By Tim Reid and Alexandra Ulmer
(Reuters) – Donald Trump told his supporters not to trouble with Tuesday’s Nevada main as a result of he wasn’t on the poll, however almost 44,000 Republicans forged votes anyway to ship a stinging rebuke to Nikki Haley.
Even although Haley, Trump’s final remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, was the one main candidate on Tuesday’s main poll, she misplaced in a landslide to ballots marked “none of these candidates.”
It was a humiliating defeat for the previous United Nations ambassador and a strong indicator of the feverish dedication to the previous U.S. president by his followers, Nevada Republican Party members and strategists mentioned on Wednesday.
“Everybody knows Trump’s supporters are loyal,” mentioned John Ashbrook, a Republican strategist who isn’t affiliated with any marketing campaign this 12 months. “But Nevada’s primary demonstrated they’re also incredibly motivated to vote.”
There was no concerted effort by Trump’s crew or the state celebration to get his supporters to vote towards Haley in Tuesday’s main, celebration insiders mentioned.
Trump and his crew in Nevada have been urging voters for weeks to merely take part in Thursday’s separate Republican caucus, organized by the Trump-friendly state Republican Party and the one contest in Nevada that awards delegates to the celebration’s nominating conference in July.
Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, is about to win all of Nevada’s 26 delegates. Haley, who has vowed to keep within the race and compete within the Feb. 24 South Carolina main, isn’t collaborating within the caucus.
“Your primary vote doesn’t mean anything,” Trump told supporters at a Nevada rally on Jan. 27. “Just do the caucus thing.”
But in latest days, a right-wing media marketing campaign was launched by Trump allies telling Republicans to mark their main poll with “none of these candidates,” mentioned Sigal Chattah, a Republican National Committee member from Nevada and Trump supporter.
Chattah mentioned nationwide conservative media figures and Trump supporters – together with Steve Bannon, a former White House advisor to Trump, and Wayne Allyn Root, a radio and TV host – had been urging Nevadans on their networks to vote “none of these candidates” to embarrass Haley.
The message was “to go out there … to vote none of the above,” Chattah mentioned.
Nevada’s pro-Trump governor, Joe Lombardo, additionally had mentioned in latest days that he would vote “none of these candidates” in Tuesday’s main after which again Trump in Thursday’s caucus.
Some Republican voters mentioned they got here to the choice to forged a symbolic vote towards Haley on their very own, with out route from Nevada celebration officers or the Trump marketing campaign.
“I got no messages, no emails,” mentioned Republican Party member Mark Lipp. “But I don’t like Haley. I worked it out myself and voted ‘none of these candidates.’ And I will caucus for Trump on Thursday.”
Lipp’s poll was among the many 63% forged for “none of these candidates,” in contrast with simply 30% backing Haley.