Feb. 13 ….
It IS complicated…..
The bifurcated Republican presidential nomination contest that is unfolding this week in Nevada — a nonbinding primary on Tuesday and a caucus on Thursday — was orchestrated by Republican leaders to assure another delegate victory for Donald J. Trump in his march to the nomination.
Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, is not even spending time or money in Nevada, focusing her attention on the primary later this month in South Carolina, her home state. Indeed, the contest has given Mr. Trump’s last remaining rival a chance to borrow a phrase from the former president.
Nevada is “rigged for Trump,” Ms. Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, told reporters in a conference call Monday, adding: “We have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada.”
Given all that — and the fact that Mr. Trump has already piled up big victories in Iowa and New Hampshire — the Nevada contests aren’t expected to be any kind of a turning point in a race that many Republicans already think is all but over. Polls suggest Mr. Trump has a commanding lead over Ms. Haley in South Carolina.
Perhaps more than that, the race in Nevada has emerged as an object lesson of what Mr. Trump — who has spent years accusing Democrats of tampering with election rules — has done, in the courts and through aggressive use of party rules, to assure that he wins his party’s nomination. (There is also a Democratic primary, but President Biden has the field pretty much to himself).
Here are some things to watch for:
Yes, indeed. There is a primary, as mandated by the State Legislature. But the Republican Party challenged that in court and won the right to hold its own party caucuses to select the delegates Nevada will send to the Republican convention this summer. Hence, a primary one day, and a caucus two days later.
The primary is by mail and in-person and expected to draw thousands of voters.
By contrast, caucuses are tightly controlled affairs and will draw a much smaller universe of voters. They were set up and are being run by Mr. Trump’s allies in the Nevada Republican Party….