This week, Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, lost the Republican primary in Nevada by a landslide, to nobody in particular.
Even though the non-binding election on Tuesday does not give any of the state’s 26 GOP delegates—which are instead awarded in Thursday’s GOP caucus—the embarrassing outcome nonetheless represented yet another dire prediction for Haley, who insists the race is “far from over” despite being well over 50 points behind former President Trump in the polls.
Because he was focused on winning the Nevada GOP caucus later on this week—where Haley is not running—Trump was not on the Republican primary ballot. In the wake of the GOP front-runner’s absence, Haley, former VP Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and a few more relatively unknown candidates faced off for the primarily symbolic prize.
In the end, Haley received 30.8% of the vote. With 62.9% of the vote, “None of these candidates” received more than twice as many. Pence received 4% of the vote, placing him in a distant third place.
Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) was among the Nevadans who rejected Haley and the other contenders on the list, stating he would choose “none of these candidates.”
Bruce Parks, the chair of the Washoe County Republican Party and an advocate of the Thursday caucus, allegedly advised voters to follow suit.
“They basically told us they don’t care about us,” Parks remarked following Haley’s loss. “By marking ‘none of these candidates,’ we respond in kind — we don’t care about you either.”
Haley’s purported disdain for Nevadans, according to Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, was “reciprocated” on Tuesday night.
“I think the Republican voters spoke,” McDonald said, “and there will be more to see Thursday night.”
Additionally, the chairman of the Nevada GOP reposted a post on X from Steve Sebelius of KTNV-TV, stating that “no candidate has lost so humiliatingly to None of These Candidates since the Democratic gubernatorial primary of 2014.” But that one was close, at least.
Haley spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas stated that the campaign is “full steam ahead in South Carolina and beyond,” according to the Associated Press, even if her candidate didn’t win against anyone in particular.
With great pleasure, Trump made fun of the former ambassador, writing, “Nicki Haley had a rough night. losing to “None of These Candidates” in Nevada by nearly 30 points. See, she’ll be claiming victory shortly!”
“Even on our worst days, we are blessed to live in America,” Haley said on X Tuesday night.
Prior to the embarrassing vote, Betsy Ankney, Haley’s campaign manager, implied in advance that the state’s presidential selection process was “rigged,” according to The Hill.
“In terms of Nevada, we have not spent any more nor energy on Nevada,” Ankney stated. “We made the decision early to pay $55,000 to a Trump entity … to participate in a process rigged for Donald Trump.”
Thus, we have never focused on Nevada and we never will. I’m not really clear what the Trump team is trying to accomplish there, but they seem very excited about it. However, our attention is on South Carolina,” Ankney continued.