LAS VEGAS — While Democratic voters here will flock to caucus sites to express their preference in their party’s nominating contest, Republican voters will go about their day as normal.
That’s because the Republican Party voted last year to cancel its caucus.
The decision was made to help clear the path to re-election for President Donald Trump. By canceling its caucus, the party ensures that voters don’t have the opportunity to formally put their support behind a different Republican candidate for president.
“By canceling it, by opting out of it, it allows us to jump to the, what is gonna be the inevitable conclusion, that President Trump will be getting our delegates at the National Convention in Charlotte,” a Nevada GOP spokesperson told multiple media outlets in September, after the vote.
At that time, Trump had faced long-shot challenges for the nomination from former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh. Walsh and Sanford have since abandoned their bids.
Republican parties in at least three other states also canceled their primaries, as part of an effort to make the path more difficult for these challengers — and smoother for Trump.
The Republican Party of South Carolina — like Nevada, a crucial early nominating state — voted in September not to hold a primary, as did Kansas and Arizona.