2024

Nikki Haley Loses Nevada To ‘None Of The Above’

Can crossover South Carolina Democratic voters reorient her political trajectory against Donald Trump?

Somewhere, Richard Pryor is smiling. The late comedian starred in the 1985 box office hit Brewster’s Millions – a movie in which he famously championed a political campaign on behalf of “none of the above.”

This week in Nevada, “none of the above” soundly defeated Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

Wait … what? Isn’t Haley the last GOP candidate standing against former U.S. president Donald Trump? Why wasn’t he on the Silver State’s primary ballot?

That’s a good question …

Nevada’s 2024 presidential preference process is … confusing. Basically, the state hosted a partisan primary last night (February 6, 2024) in which Haley appeared on the ballot. Tomorrow (February 8, 2024), the state is holding a GOP caucus in which Trump will appear on the ballot.

What gives? In 2020, Nevada lawmakers scrapped the state’s caucus system in favor of a primary election – believing it to be more accessible to voters. Republicans didn’t support the plan, though, and opted to continue holding their caucus – without using taxpayer funds to pay for it.

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Candidates were left with a choice: Participate in the primary or the caucus … but not both.

The catch? All of Nevada’s 26 GOP delegates will be apportioned based on the results of the party-sponsored caucus, not the state-run primary.

Why wouldn’t Haley run against Trump in the caucus?

“We have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada,” Haley’s campaign said in a statement. “We made the decision early on that we were not going to pay $55,000 to a Trump entity to participate in a process that is rigged for Trump.”

That meant Haley was a lock to win the primary, right? Wrong …

When the votes were counted on Tuesday evening, a stunning 43,893 GOP primary voters (63.2 percent of ballots cast) supported “none of the above.” Only 21,199 voters (30.5 percent of ballots cast) backed Haley.

That’s right … Haley got beat despite the fact she was the only candidate on the ballot. In an election that was utterly meaningless because zero delegates were at stake.

“A bad night for Nikki Haley,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Losing by almost 30 points in Nevada to ‘None of These Candidates.’ Watch, she’ll soon claim victory!”

Trump wasn’t the only one dogging Haley out, though. Ostensibly objective Reuters couldn’t have been harsher on her, referring to the loss as a “mortifying defeat” in the lede of its news coverage of the primary.

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RELATED | HOW NIKKI HALEY’S EARLY STATE MOMENTUM COLLAPSED

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Haley’s team insisted it was “full steam ahead in South Carolina,” her home state. South Carolina hosts an open primary on February 24, 2024 in which Palmetto State voters can participate without having to register as Republicans.

After last weekend’s atrocious turnout in the state’s Democratic presidential primary, many believe Haley is poised to benefit from a massive “crossover campaign” against Trump – i.e. a flood of Democrats backing her in the GOP primary.

Will such a campaign materialize? And given how “yuge” Trump’s South Carolina lead has become … will it matter if they do? Crossover campaigns have never yielded results in the Palmetto State in previous elections … but this is one of the first times we have been confronted with this unique convergence of circumstances.

Count on this media outlet to keep our audience apprised of this potential phenomenon the closer we get to February 24 …

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.

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2 comments

Dum Spiro Spero Top fan February 8, 2024 at 11:19 am

Lucky the Republican primaries in SC don’t have a “None of the above” category on their statewide, local, and congressional ballots. With a few exceptions, they would have a difficult time picking a nominee.

Reply
Ralph Hightower Top fan February 8, 2024 at 1:20 pm

Bless her heart. That’s pretty hilarious!

I wish that South Carolina had “none of the above”.

I wonder how much of a whomping she will get in her birth state. But I don’t want to see a rerun of The Apprentice: White House.

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