Trump wins Nevada, Virgin Islands to close in on Republican nomination

Donald Trump won Republican presidential nominating caucuses in Nevada and the US Virgin Islands on Thursday (Feb 8), moving closer to becoming his party’s White House standard-bearer and a likely general election rematch with US President Joe Biden in November.

Trump, the frontrunner in his party’s nominating race, was the only major candidate competing in Nevada’s caucuses and was set to win the state’s 26 delegates to the party’s nominating convention in July after being projected the winner on Thursday night by Edison Research.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump easily won the US Virgin Islands caucuses, adding four to his delegate haul. The former US president won 182 votes, or 74 per cent of the 246 votes cast there, beating his last remaining rival in the Republican race, Nikki Haley, who won 26 per cent support with 64 votes.

The Nevada caucuses, organised by the Trump-friendly Nevada Republican Party, came two days after a state-run primary election, which saw a humiliating defeat for Haley.

Despite being the only major candidate on Tuesday’s Republican primary ballot, Haley was still roundly defeated after tens of thousands of Trump supporters turned out to mark their ballots with “none of these candidates”, an option which garnered 63 per cent of the vote to Haley’s 30 per cent.

Trump spent Thursday morning watching coverage of arguments in a case he appealed to the US Supreme Court concerning Colorado’s decision to remove him from this year’s ballot for engaging in “insurrection” relating to the Jan 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

The justices appeared sceptical of Colorado’s actions, expressing concern about the precedent it could set.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Trump called the Colorado case “more election interference by the Democrats”.

He said he was preparing to leave his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida to travel to Nevada for the caucuses.

“We expect to have a very big night,” Trump said.

Trump is close to winning the Republican nomination after back-to-back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire last month.

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