What’s going on with Nevada’s Republican primary and caucuses?

Elko County GOP chair Lee Hoffman works at his home Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Elko, Nev. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

By Lorraine Longhi

February 2, 2024

Nevada Republicans will have two opportunities to vote, after the state Republican Party moved to operate its own caucus two days after the state-mandated primary election.

Next week, Nevadans will cast their vote for which candidate for president they want to see advance to the general election in November.

Former president Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are vying for the Republican nomination, while President Joe Biden is expected to win the Democratic nomination in a field of lesser known challengers.

But Nevada Republicans will have two opportunities to vote, after the state Republican Party moved to operate its own caucus two days after the state-mandated primary election.

When is the primary?

The state-run primary will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Twenty candidates will appear on Nevada voters’ primary election ballots: 13 Democrats and seven Republicans.

President Joe Biden will appear on the primary ballot against a slew of mostly unknown Democratic candidates, with the exception of Marianne Williamson, a former spiritual leader and self-help author who has so far never successfully been elected to office.

Early voting is currently underway, and runs through Friday, Feb. 2. A list of polling locations is available online at the Secretary of State’s website.

But absent from the primary ballot will be former president Donald Trump, who will instead run in the Republican caucus two days later on Thursday, Feb. 8.

What about the caucus?

To protest the state-run primaries and recently enacted voter legislation by the state legislature, the state Republican Party set up its own caucus to choose presidential delegates.

The party’s “First in the West” caucus will count for the purposes of awarding delegates–the process by which a presidential nominee is selected–a move that all but ensures that Trump will be the Republican winner in Nevada, which some have said is disenfranchising Silver State Republicans who support Haley.

Haley has foregone campaigning in Nevada as a result, recently telling reporters in New Hampshire that the Nevada caucuses were “sealed up, bought and paid for a long time.”

“That’s the Trump train rolling through that. But we’re going to focus on the states that are fair,” she said.

Caucuses will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Nevada Republican Party has a list of caucus locations available online at nevadacaucus.gop.

Can I participate in both the primary and the caucus?

Yes. Registered Republican voters can participate in both the primary and the caucus, and there will be an option to check “None of these candidates” in the primary election.

All Nevadans with a driver’s license who are US citizens and 18 years or older are submitted for automatic voter registration, provided they did not decline their voter registration, and are eligible to vote in the primary of their registered party.

Nevada residents who don’t have a driver’s license or ID card issued by the Nevada DMV can register in person with their county election office or mail in a paper application to vote. For more information on how to register to vote, visit the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.

Reach the reporter at [email protected].

  • Lorraine Longhi

    Lorraine Longhi is a reporter for The Nevadan and native of the southwest. A graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, she spent eight years reporting in Arizona, including at The Arizona Republic and The Copper Courier, where she covered education, health care and state politics. She returned to Las Vegas, her hometown, last year as an education reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where she was later promoted to assistant city editor



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