Democrats in Nevada will head to the polls today for the party’s state primary where President Joe Biden is largely regarded as the presumptive victor.
The Republican Party will hold its caucus on Feb. 8 – although there is a Republican primary occurring simultaneously with the Democratic primary. Only the result of the caucus will determine how delegates are awarded ahead of the Republican National Convention.
President Biden won the South Carolina primary on Feb. 3 – the first official contest in the new schedule approved by the Democratic National Committee. His overwhelming win secured him all 55 delegates. Biden also won South Carolina during the Democratic primary in 2020.
The party pushed the traditional first caucus and primary states – Iowa and New Hampshire – citing a desire to better reflect its values. Biden, who urged the DNC’s Rules and Bylaw Committee to revise the traditional primary schedule in December of 2022, said leading with South Carolina and Nevada “ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominees much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window.”
The Nevada Legislature pushed to become the first state in the nation to hold a presidential primary in 2024. In June of 2021, then-Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Assembly Bill 124, which required Nevada to be the first primary election state. New Hampshire is already required to hold the first primary during an election year.
“The demographics, the make-up of our population, are much more in line with what the country is, and I think it's important that we get this voice heard early,” said Sisolak during a press conference.
Biden has been on the campaign trail in Nevada for the last several days, warning voters that reelecting President Donald Trump would be a “nightmare.”
“We have to keep the White House,” he told donors at a private event in Henderson, per AP News. “We must keep the Senate.”
Biden is hoping to secure support from the state’s many hospitality workers. At a meet-and-greet in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, the Democrat called himself the “most pro-union president in American history.”
“I’ve always believed that you build the economy from the middle out and the bottom up,” he said. “That way, the working-class folks have a shot and the middle class grows.”
According to NPR, “Nevada is one of six swing states that will get outsized attention in the general election and is the first swing state to vote early, making it a testing ground for the candidates, even if the races aren't that competitive on paper.”
Only former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley will appear on the Republican primary ballot – the only major candidate to do so.
“Joe Lombardo, the state's Republican governor and a Trump supporter, has said he will vote ‘none of the above’ on Tuesday and caucus for Trump on Thursday, meaning Haley's main ‘challenger’ on Tuesday will likely be Trump supporters marking 'none of the above' on their primary ballot,” per Reuters.
Trump and Haley are both set to appear on the ballot at the Republican primary in South Carolina on Feb. 24.