Nikki Haley hasn’t been faring well in the GOP primaries thus far (to put it mildly). But she appeared to have a foolproof plan for Nevada. While everyone else who bothered to run is competing in the caucus tomorrow, Haley was the only prominent candidate to enter their name in yesterday’s primary. As it turns out, that plan didn’t work out very well either. Haley managed to lose by a significant margin to “None of these candidates.” The “none of the above” option drew more than 60% of the vote in a race with very sparse turnout. (NY Post)
President Biden emerged victorious in Nevada’s Democratic primary Tuesday, while former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley suffered a humiliating defeat in the Republican contest where former President Donald Trump’s name wasn’t even on the ballot.
“None of these candidates” was the top vote-getter on the GOP side of the bill, with the option receiving more than 60% of the vote when the race was called by the Associated Press.
Haley was the only major GOP candidate that signed up for the Nevada primary, which has no delegates at stake, over the state GOP-run caucus, which will be held Thursday and has 26 delegates up for grabs.
The overall impact of these results on the presidential race is precisely nothing. As already noted, there were no delegates at stake and the primary was only held by the party because of Nevada’s unique system and because it was required by law and the GOP rules. But that doesn’t mean that the results didn’t have any significance or that there wasn’t a deeper meaning behind them.
The glaring question here is why that many people, small in number that they may have been, would trudge out on a blustery February day to participate. If you’re a dedicated Haley supporter or even just a never-Trump Republican it’s probably understandable. But more than 60% of them made the journey to cast a vote for nobody in a race that would deliver no delegates and have no impact on the eventual primary results.
I believe they were sending a message. They still wanted their voices to be heard and those voices were speaking out in favor of Donald Trump. These are people who have seen what Joe Biden’s administration has done to this country and they wanted to let the country know that Nikki Haley is not the answer. Donald Trump is the only one who will be able to restore the policies that worked during his presidency and were reversed by Biden as soon as he took office.
Ron DeSantis had his moment and took his shot. He had a great record to run on and showed a lot of promise, but when the writing was clearly on the wall, he exited gracefully and endorsed Trump. We could largely say the same about Vivek Ramaswamy, despite being a political novice. But Haley’s moment in the sun in Nevada this week was simply punishing.
This was a moment that almost certainly will fade from our collective memory once we get into the hustle and bustle of Super Tuesday and beyond. How long it will last depends on how much longer Haley’s deep-pocketed donors are willing to continue flushing money into her quixotic quest. It seems inevitable that she will eventually have to concede, but strange things happen in American politics, so who knows? She does, however, appear to be burning her bridges in terms of a possible second act in 2028 or beyond. This remains a fascinating chapter of the story to follow until we reach the general election.