Donald Trump secured victories in the Republican presidential nominating caucuses in Nevada and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday, edging closer to clinching his party’s candidacy for the White House in what is anticipated to be a rematch with U.S. President Joe Biden come November.
As the frontrunner in the Republican nomination race, Trump emerged as the sole major contender in Nevada’s caucuses, poised to capture the state’s 26 delegates to the party’s nominating convention in July following his declaration as the victor on Thursday night by Edison Research.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands caucuses earlier that day, Trump comfortably triumphed, bolstering his delegate count with an additional four.
The former president garnered 182 votes, securing 74% of the 246 votes cast, eclipsing his final rival in the Republican contest, Nikki Haley, who attained 26% support with 64 votes.
The Nevada caucuses, orchestrated by the Trump-aligned Nevada Republican Party, unfolded just two days after a state-run primary election, where Haley suffered a humiliating setback.
Despite being the solitary major candidate on the Republican primary ballot on Tuesday, Haley suffered a resounding defeat as tens of thousands of Trump loyalists opted for “none of these candidates,” clinching 63% of the vote compared to Haley’s 30%.
On Thursday morning, Trump, engrossed in the unfolding developments, monitored the proceedings of a case he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Colorado’s move to exclude him from this year’s ballot due to alleged involvement in the “insurrection” linked to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
In addressing reporters before departing Florida for Nevada, Trump branded the Colorado case as “further election interference by the Democrats.”
Following his triumph, Trump addressed supporters in Las Vegas, expressing gratitude to the people of Nevada and characterizing Thursday’s Supreme Court hearings as “a sight to behold.”
With consecutive wins in Iowa and New Hampshire last month, Trump is on the brink of clinching the Republican nomination.
However, Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, remains steadfast in her refusal to withdraw from the nomination race, much to Trump’s chagrin.
She pledges to persist in her candidacy, eyeing a potential final stand in her home state of South Carolina, which holds its primary election on February 24.
Despite Haley’s diminishing prospects and trailing Trump significantly in South Carolina’s opinion polls, the state remains pivotal, given its potential to sway towards either party, thus wielding significant influence in November’s presidential election.
In 2020, Biden prevailed over Trump in Nevada by a margin of 2.4 percentage points.
Opinion polls suggest a closely contested rematch between Biden and Trump in the state.
Approximately 30% of Nevada’s population identifies as Latino or Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census, and Republicans are making incremental inroads with this demographic nationwide.
Furthermore, Nevada boasts a considerable number of potential swing voters, with 768,000 registered as “nonpartisan,” outnumbering those affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties, according to the latest state data.