The Nevada Primary

News: US News
by Jim Ellis  •  •  February 6, 2024   

Democrats to pick 49 national convention delegates

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DETROIT ( - The third presidential primary is scheduled for today in Nevada, but the votes cast will only count for delegate apportionment in one party.


Democratic voters in Nevada are casting their votes for a presidential nominee, with 49 national convention delegates at stake.

Meanwhile, the Republican primary is considered a "beauty contest" because the results won't directly affect delegate allocation. Instead, Republican delegates will be chosen through a separate caucus system, with meetings scheduled for Thursday.

President Biden is expected to win the Democratic primary by a significant margin, though possibly not as overwhelmingly as his 97% victory in South Carolina.

On the Republican side, the candidates had a choice between the primary and the caucus. Ex-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is participating in the primary, which won't impact delegate selection directly, making her potential win to be virtually meaningless.

Former President Donald Trump, having chosen the caucus route, is likely to secure all of Nevada's 26 national convention delegates.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, after a poor performance in South Carolina where President Biden dominated, might soon withdraw from the race. If Biden secures over 80% in Nevada tonight and performs strongly in Michigan on Feb. 27, he is likely to effectively secure the Democratic nomination well before Super Tuesday on March 5.

The Republican primary results in Nevada are not expected to receive much attention since Trump and Haley are not directly competing against each other in either the primary or the caucuses.

Looking ahead, if Trump performs strongly in the South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 24, as current polls suggest, it might be difficult for Haley to continue her campaign in the face of a stiff rejection from an electorate that twice chose her as governor. It seems almost certain that both Biden and Trump will effectively clinch their respective nominations by or before Super Tuesday.

Illinois Representative Unretires

In early 2023, Indiana's sophomore Republican U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz declared she wouldn't seek a third term in Congress, intending to spend more time with her two daughters as they enter their teenage years.

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ill. 

This decision initially made her the session's first lame-duck House member.

However, in a surprising reversal, she announced her intention to run again, becoming the first member to unretire from the growing list of departing representatives.

With Spartz's decision to seek reelection, the total number of open House seats decreases to 46, comprising 24 from the Democrats and 21 from the Republicans.

There's also one open district in Alabama, created during the state's second redistricting phase, which is expected to elect a Black Democrat.

Spartz cited encouragement from her constituents and her dissatisfaction with the "failed leadership in Washington" as her primary reasons for this reversal, especially as the candidate filing deadline in Indiana draws near.

Attention now shifts to the 10 Republicans who had been campaigning to succeed Spartz. Observers are keen to see if any will withdraw their candidacies. State Rep. Chuck Goodrich, who has already invested over $1 million in his campaign and holds significantly more funds than Spartz, is seen as the front-runner.

According to the Federal Election Commission's year-end disclosure report, Spartz has $313,000 versus Goodrich's $679,000. No other candidate in the race has comparable financial resources.

Goodrich's continued participation sets the stage for a compelling primary on May 7. Spartz's on-and-off retirement might not sit well with the Republican base in central Indiana. Plus, Goodrich has been actively campaigning for over a year, while Spartz has not been in the political fray. Hence, it's expected that Goodrich will maintain his campaign and fervently contest Spartz's renomination.

No other candidate in the race has comparable financial resources.

First elected in 2020, Spartz won a crowded Republican primary field of 14 candidates with 39.7% of the vote and later secured her seat in a tight general election. Redistricting has made the 5th District more securely Republican, shifting from R+8 to R+22. In her 2022 reelection bid, Spartz faced no opposition in the GOP primary and won the general election with 61% of the vote.

The speculation about Spartz reconsidering her retirement has been a topic of discussion for weeks. Now confirmed, her decision introduces a new dynamic into the race. Whether the voters will support her for another term remains uncertain, adding an intriguing twist to the upcoming primary elections.

Louisiana Speaker Backs Redistricting Lawsuit

In Louisiana, the redistricting process has encountered legal challenges. A group of "non-African Americans" filed a lawsuit against the newly drawn 6th District, alleging it was created solely for racial purposes, which is unconstitutional. This is reminiscent of a situation in 1994 when a similarly structured district was deemed a racial gerrymander, leading to a mandated redrawing of the district boundaries.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has expressed his concerns on the social media platform X, saying, "There are multiple other map options that are legally compliant and do not require the unnecessary surrender of a Republican seat in Congress." The restructured 6th District significantly impacts Johnson's 4th District, bisecting it to incorporate predominantly Black precincts from Shreveport.

Jim Ellis, creator of The Ellis Insight website and senior political analyst for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, analyzes and reports on U.S. electoral politics. He has a background in political consulting, managing political campaigns and action committees. Ellis is a regular speaker and media contributor on electoral topics, appearing on various radio shows and TV programs. He hosts Church Militant's The Ellis Insight — a video podcast identifying emerging campaign and election trends.


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