Although former President Donald Trump ran virtually unopposed the Nevada Caucus, his win on Feb. 8 was still historic.
No other Republican candidate has received more votes in a caucus in the Silver State, said Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald, after President Trump thanked Nevadans for setting that “tremendous record.”
“We didn’t just win last night—we dominated,” Mr. McDonald told The Epoch Times on Feb. 9, a day after the former president’s latest record-breaking win.
“This is a huge, huge, huge, huge deal,” Mr. Baris said, because caucus turnouts are notoriously low.
It’s hard to get people to commit to a time-consuming caucus discussion, Mr. Baris said, but it’s easier to get them to quickly vote in a traditional primary election.
Yet, this year’s in-person turnout for the Republican primary was about one-sixth of the turnout for the caucus. The turnout numbers show that “Nevada showed up for Donald Trump,” Mr. Baris said, noting that voters waited in long lines in chilly weather to cast their ballots.
“Every state he’s been in, he’s been setting records,” Mr. Baris said.
After the Jan. 10 Iowa caucus ended in a record-setting 29-percent margin of victory for the former president, two contenders, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, suspended their campaigns.
In New Hampshire’s first-in-nation primary on Jan. 23, President Trump faced off against his sole remaining contender, Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador.
Although Ms. Haley attracted many non-Republicans to vote in the Republican primary, President Trump still set a new record for most votes received by any candidate in that state’s primary (176,000).
In Nevada, people criticized the GOP’s decision to persist with their time-honored caucus in defiance of the state-mandated primary, Mr. McDonald said. “The pundits were against us; they said, ‘You’ll have a terrible turnout.'”
That didn’t happen. Neither did the nice “bounce” they had predicted would be in store for Ms. Haley, Mr. McDonald said.
She opted to run in the bragging-rights-only primary on Feb. 6, hoping for a symbolic win. President Trump’s name didn’t appear alongside hers. He chose to compete in the GOP-sanctioned caucus for delegates that count toward the Republican presidential nomination.
But President Trump walked away with all 26 of Nevada’s delegates in the caucus two days after Ms. Haley suffered a symbolic loss to “None of These Candidates” in the primary.
For the first time since that option became available to Nevada voters in 1976, “None” drew more than half the votes cast. About 47,000 people voted for “None,” and 23,000 voted for Ms. Haley.
During President Trump’s victory speech on Thursday, he said “None” served as a catchall that included him. Thus, Ms. Haley’s symbolic defeat was, in essence, an historic win for him, he and his supporters said.
Mr. McDonald said, “We had two victories, not just one–and the world took notice.”
And President Trump said: “I would like to congratulate ‘None of the Above,'” as several hundred volunteers and fans as they howled with laughter. They had gathered for a caucus night watch party at the Treasure Island Hotel in the heart of the famously flashy Las Vegas Strip.
President Trump took the stage with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a former presidential contender who now stands with other past rivals in supporting President Trump.
With Nevada’s big caucus turnout for President Trump, “You’re sending a signal to the nation: This primary is over; President Trump has won,” Mr. Burgum said.
More importantly, he said, in November, “Nevada’s going to be a swing state” and will help President Trump reclaim the White House from Democrat President Joe Biden.
In the 2020 election, then-candidate Biden tallied about 3 percent more votes in Nevada than President Trump did; he and other critics have blamed irregularities for his loss there and nationally.
But the vast majority of votes for President Biden came from mail-ins; only 13,000 Democrats showed up to vote in person on Primary Election Day, Feb. 6, the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office showed.
About 10,000 Republicans cast in-person ballots in their party’s “meaningless” and Trump-less primary. But more than 60,000 showed up for the in-person caucus two days later. GOP leaders say those numbers serve as a barometer for enthusiasm for President Trump and could help drive him to victory in November against President Biden.
“Go back home, rest, and then come back,” President Trump urged supporters, “because we’re gonna turn this whole thing around,” referring to problems plaguing the United States, such as illegal immigration and its involvement in the wars being waged in Israel and Ukraine.
“If we win the state of Nevada, it’s over for them,” he said, referring to leftists.
“And our country’s gonna be better, greater, bigger, more beautiful than ever before.”