NIKKI Haley has suffered a double blow in Nevada after losing to the “none of these candidates” option on the ballot.
The stunning loss comes after Haley already forfeited all the delegates in the state by choosing to participate in the GOP primary rather than a caucus later this week.
At 53% of the votes tallied, the “none of these candidates” option lead the results at 61.2% while results for Nikki Haley are at 32%.
The former UN ambassador faced little competition in Tuesday’s state-run vote after her biggest GOP rival, Donald Trump, kept his name off the ballot, but still did not take a win.
Haley said she put in little effort to campaign in Nevada and that she was going to “focus on the states that are fair” after insisting the caucus was rigged for a Trump win, the Associated Press reported.
Trump took a hit at Haley’s bright outlook toward winning following her loss in a post on Truth Social.
“A bad night for Nikki Haley. Losing by almost 30 points in Nevada to ‘None of These Candidates.’ Watch, she’ll soon claim Victory!” Trump said.
Trump opted out of the primary and will instead run in Nevada’s caucuses on Thursday, which Republicans will use to allocate delegates to the national convention.
It comes after Nevada’s voting system was plunged into chaos this year.
Democratic lawmakers in the state passed legislation to switch the caucuses to a primary following delays in the vote count in 2021.
The state’s Republican Party was left reeling over the decision but was unsuccessful in getting it changed through the courts.
It decided to hold caucuses anyway, which will see 26 state delegates awarded to the winner.
Since Haley opted to participate in Tuesday’s state-run primary rather than Thursday’s caucus, she will not win any delegates in Nevada.
Haley’s campaign on Monday referred to the state’s caucus as “rigged” toward a Trump win.
“In terms of Nevada, we have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada,” Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, told reporters.
“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.
“So Nevada is not, and has never been our focus.”
Haley’s top competition in the Nevada primary was a “none of these candidates” option, which Nevada requires to be a choice on the ballot.
Republicans can vote in both the primary and the caucus, meaning Trump loyalists were able to cast a ballot for “none” rather than Haley on Tuesday to prevent her from taking a primary win.
Nevada passed a law in 2021 that scrapped its caucus to focus on the primary, but the GOP opposed the decision and decided to still have the caucus.
The decision also means that only the winner of the caucus will receive the 26 GOP delegates for Nevada.
Nevada’s GOP website highlighted that “candidates that chose to appear on the state-run primary ballot did so knowing that decision meant they could not earn delegates by appearing on the caucus ballots.”
The split will essentially cause neither Haley nor Trump to lose in Nevada, but only the winner of the caucus will take GOP delegates.
Nevada is considered a swing state and results in closely contested races in the state have sometimes taken days to count
But the GOP and Democratic contests are both considered not competitive this year.
Nevada’s caucuses are scheduled for Thursday, February 8, from 5 pm to 7:30 pm.
Trump opted out of the primary and has decided to only participate in the caucus.
He even instructed his followers in Nevada to ignore the primary.
“Your primary vote doesn’t mean anything. It’s your caucus vote,” Trump told supporters in Las Vegas last month.
“So in your state, you have both the primary and you have a caucus. Don’t worry about the primary, just do the caucus thing.”
Only Trump and Ryan Binkley will appear on the caucus ballot.
Binkley is considered a long-shot candidate and Trump is expected to take the win.
To participate in Nevada’s caucus, you must be a registered Nevada Republican.
The votes will be finalized and released to the public on Thursday.
The Nevada caucus will also be the first caucus to occur in the West.
Biden, meanwhile, is set to receive 26 delegates upon his win.
The president was quickly named the winner of the Democratic primary with just 14% of votes counted, the Associated Press reported.
“Thank you, Nevada! We’re building a campaign that leaves no one behind. Let’s keep up this momentum,” Biden said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He was up against author Marianne Williamson in Nevada’s Democratic primary and they were the only two candidates on the ballot.
The president’s biggest competition, Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips, missed the deadline to be on Nevada’s primary ballot.
Biden held a rally in Las Vegas on Sunday and told the crowd that they would “make Donald Trump a loser again.”
It is believed Trump and Haley’s decisions to not go up against one another could be beneficial to both.
Haley insisted that she knew she would not win against Trump in the caucus.
She was the only major runner in Nevada’s primary, which would allow her to possibly take a win even if it was without delegates.
Splitting instead of running against each other also allows Haley’s team to get their hands on data regarding her followers are in Nevada.
Haley, Trump, and Biden are all expected to learn a lot about who their followers are in Nevada and the information will be useful to help them prepare for the general election.