LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — South Carolina Senator Tim Scott is the second major Republican candidate to say he will take part in the state-run GOP Presidential Preference Primary and not the caucus run by the Nevada GOP.
Former Vice President Mike Pence also filed for the primary on Thursday.
A 2021 bill requires the state to run a primary on Feb. 6. Democrats will use those results to pick a presidential candidate. Republicans are holding their own caucus two days later on Feb. 8. They have said anyone taking part in the primary will be banned from the caucus and won’t be eligible for any presidential delegates from Nevada. Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum have already said they will take part in the caucus.
Rules set up by the state GOP have a minimum threshold to get a delegate. The candidate must get at least 4.5 percent to be eligible for one. Nevada has 23 delegates. That could motivate candidates who don’t think they will meet that threshold to take part in the state-run primary. They won’t get any delegates, but they could get publicity for winning the primary.
A CNN/SSRS poll released on Tuesday had only three candidates polling above 4.5 percent in the Nevada Caucus: Donald Trump at 65 percent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 13 percent, and Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 6 percent. Pence was at 3 percent, and Scott was at 2 percent.
Several campaigns have criticized the Nevada Republican Caucus, calling it an attempt to set up the process for Trump to win.