With two of the better known Republican presidential hopefuls suspending their campaign, there’s not going to be much on that Presidential Preference Primary ballot for most Douglas County voters.
Attrition among both Republican and Democratic candidates is pretty common in the final months before an election year starts.
In January 2007, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced his run for the Presidency in Minden. A year later, Richardson dropped out of the race before showing up on anything resembling a ballot in Nevada.
Both Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott will appear on the ballot in February, though both have suspended their campaigns.
As of this week, former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley remains the only Republican on the primary ballot who has participated in the three debates.
Frontrunner former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and businessmen Vivek Ramaswamy and Ryan Binkley are on the menu for the Feb. 8 Republican caucus.
That Trump will make it the next four months to the caucus is a foregone conclusion. DeSantis may well also survive the next few months, but there may be some folks who drop out.
On the Democratic side, President Biden will appear on the primary ballot along with a dozen others. The party in power rarely subjects a sitting president to any sort of local selection process, much less a primary.
According to the “Political History of Nevada,” the last time both parties conducted presidential preference primaries was May 1980 where Ted Kennedy mounted a credible challenge to President Carter’s re-election efforts. Carter would go on to be crushed by Ronald Reagan. Republicans tried again March 26, 1996, with 11 candidates on the ballot. Bob Dole won by a good margin but lost to President Clinton.
We expect that many Republicans will participate in the caucus. If you’d like to save the county postage, you can go to RegisterToVoteNV.gov and click “Update mail ballot preference” by Dec. 8 and tell it you don’t want a mailed ballot.