If not for the Nevada Republican Party, Nevada would be awash in attention from the nation’s largest news organizations.
Donald Trump would be holding another rally in Reno or Las Vegas.
Nikki Haley would be campaigning in Henderson, Elko, and Sparks.
And most importantly, Nevada Republican voters would have a choice. They could confirm Trump’s glidepath to the Republican presidential nomination – and the Trump-Biden rematch nobody wants (except Trump and Biden). Or they could pump wind into the sails of the idea that maybe, just maybe, Republicans should nominate somebody – anybody – else.
Of course none of that is happening.
Only the occasional straggler from the national press is here. Trump and Haley are likewise elsewhere.
And most importantly, Nevada Republican voters have been deprived of the opportunity to have any meaningful impact on the Republican race.
Nevada will have a Republican primary Feb. 6. But the only active candidate’s name on the ballot is Haley’s. Trump deliberately chose not to file for the primary.
Two days later, on Feb. 8, the Nevada Republican Party is holding a private Trump coronation event that it’s calling a caucus, and the only active candidate’s name on that ballot is Trump’s.
Republican voters can participate in both the primary and the caucus. But the only thing they have that comes anywhere near an option is in the primary, where they could vote for Haley, “none of these candidates,” or one of the several unknowns who also filed for whatever silly reason.
Thanks to the Nevada Republican Party, Nevada Republican voters do not and will not get a chance to directly vote between the only two active Republican candidates remaining in the presidential field.
Led and staffed by Trump worshiping indicted fake electors, the Nevada Republican Party must be delighted at how things have turned out.
If Haley and Trump were running head-to-head in a free and fair election, might she have done well enough to, if not beat Trump, at least embarrass him enough to cast yet more doubt on his general election prospects among voters in the states that follow? However remote the risk, it’s one that Trump, the state party’s idol, needn’t worry about, because the fake electors running the state party deliberately siloed Trump into a pre-rigged election for his own protection.
One piece of the rigging was a rule adopted by the party that anybody who filed for the primary could not compete in the caucus.
The intent of the caucus – a product of, by, and for Trump – was laid bare when the party’s chair, indicted fake elector Michael McDonald, told Republican voters to caucus for Trump at a rally in Reno in December, when both Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie, who had filed for the caucus, were still in the race.
The Republican caucus presents a facade of democracy while everyone knows the outcome was predetermined from the start. It has all the integrity of the competition-excluding “elections” in Russia, whose leader Trump greatly admires.
In October when Haley filed for the primary – an election that unlike the caucus is administered by state and county election officials and the ballots and the results are checked for accuracy and legitimacy – she joined two other Republican candidates who then were actively campaigning, Sen. Tim Scott and former vice president Mike Pence.
Filing for the primary is the sum total of interest Haley’s campaign has shown in Nevada’s third spot on the nominating calendar. Haley’s campaign has ignored Nevada media, but while campaigning in New Hampshire last month, she offered what amounts to an explanation of why she filed for the primary and not the caucus. The Nevada Republican Party’s caucus has been “sealed up,” for Trump, she said, adding “we’re going to focus on the states that are fair and square.”
There is a quasi-campaign, most notably personified by Trump endorser Joe Lombardo, to vote for the “none of these candidates” option on the Republican primary ballot.
In a sign of weakness, or doubt, or both, Trump refrained from urging Republicans to vote for “none” at his rally in Las Vegas last weekend, instead urging them to simply stay away from the primary. It would embarrass Trump, after all, if he urged people to vote for “none” and then Haley won anyway.
But make no mistake, Trump and the party would love to see “none” get more votes than Haley in the primary.
What Trump and the party don’t want to see, but what is entirely possible and perhaps probable, is Haley not only prevailing over “none,” but getting more total votes in the primary than Trump gets in the caucus, and thus getting more total votes in Nevada than Trump does.
If that happens, even after McDonald and his politburo of party officials so despicably yet lovingly rigged the caucus for Trump, Trump will be something of a loser in Nevada. Again.
But the real losers of the Nevada caucus-primary fiasco are Republican voters, who have been robbed of a straightforward and simple election to say which candidate they support for the Republican nomination. Which is what they would have had if not for the Nevada Republican Party and its leaders creating a sham caucus for the sole purpose of treating Trump like royalty, and treating Nevada Republican voters like serfs.