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Trump wins Nevada caucus, consolidating GOP power

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event in Las Vegas on Jan. 27, 2024.
David Becker
/
Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event in Las Vegas on Jan. 27, 2024.

LAS VEGAS — Former President Donald Trump handily won the Nevada caucuses Thursday as he continues his march toward the Republican nomination.

It's his third major victory after commanding wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, helping consolidate his control over the party process. He also won the Republican caucuses in the U.S. Virgin Islands Thursday, adding four delegates to his total.

Trump won the vast majority of the caucus votes. His top rival, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, didn't get any of the votes because she wasn't on the caucus ballot.

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By winning the caucuses, Trump will be awarded the state's 26 delegates.

It was the culmination of a confusing nominating process in Nevada where the state actually held two nominating contest votes.

Nevada has long held caucuses, but the state legislature passed a law in 2021 switching to a more straightforward primary vote to help increase voter participation.

But the nominating contests are run by political parties, not the state.

And the Nevada Republican Party, made up of Trump allies, decided to stick with a caucus, which also awards the delegates.

Haley invested virtually no time or resources in Nevada.

And although she ran virtually unopposed in the more symbolic Republican primary,she still ended up losing as more voters picked the option "none of these candidates."

The victory also gives Trump more momentum as they head toward the much anticipated primary in South Carolina, Haley's home state.

Haley has pledged to fight on. She and her team have invested much more time and energy in South Carolina, where she served for six years as governor.

But polls show Trump with a commanding lead in South Carolina ahead of the Feb. 24 primary.

Trump told reporters on Thursday he doesn't "really care" if Haley continues in the race, adding however, "I think it's bad for the party."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

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