Biden sails to victory in ‘first in the West’ Nevada primary

By: - February 7, 2024 1:28 am

Joe Biden campaigning in Las Vegas’s historic Westside Feb. 4. (Photo: April Corbin Girnus/Nevada Current)

Democratic President Joe Biden won his second official Presidential Preference Primary of 2024, the “first in the West” Nevada primary Tuesday. The Associated Press called the race Tuesday with 61% of votes counted, and Biden winning 90% of them.

While Democrats expected Biden to win the state, he appeared beside 12 other candidates, including author Marianne Williamson, who ran for president in 2020 but ended her campaign ahead of the first Iowa caucus.

In the first batch of result, Williamson had 3.2% of the vote, trailing “none of these candidates,” which had 6.4%.

“Nevada’s first-in-the-west primary is emblematic of Democrats’ commitment to uplifting voters of color, engaging the diverse coalitions that are the bedrock of the Democratic Party, and making it easier for everyone to make their voices heard,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “Building on the strong success in South Carolina this Saturday, Nevada’s primary makes it clear that our winning coalition is strong and only growing stronger.”

With the latest victory, it is all but guaranteed that come November Biden will face former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee who is participating in the state’s party-run Republican caucus on Thursday rather than the primary.

During a visit to Las Vegas’s Historic Westside on Sunday, Biden warned of a “nightmare” if Trump won re-election.

“You all are the reason I am the president of the United States of America,” Biden told the crowd of invited supporters. “You’re the reason. You’re the reason Kamala Harris is a historic vice president. And you’re the reason Donald Trump is the former president. And you’re the reason we’ll make Donald Trump a loser again.”

Tuesday’s presidential preference vote was the first time the state conducted the nomination process through a primary after state law switched from a caucus.

Absent from Nevada’s primary ballot was Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a three-term congressman from Minnesota, launched a long-shot bid for president.

When asked in October why the Phillips campaign was skipping the majority-minority state, his campaign adviser Steve Schmidt said “We cede that race.”

“It doesn’t matter,” he said, according to Politico.

Biden won the South Carolina primary, the “first in the nation,” on Saturday with 96% of the vote, where Williamson came in second with 2% of the vote and Phillips was in third place at less than 2%

Though his name was absent from the New Hampshire ballot, Biden also won nearly 64% of the vote through a vigorous write-in campaign. Phillips, whose name was on the ballot, secured 20% of the vote.

Ahead of the Nevada primary, Phillips said despite earning zero delegates so far that he was planning to stay in the race.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues.