Trump won’t be on Nevada’s 2024 GOP primary ballot. Neither will DeSantis, Ramaswamy or Christie. Here’s why.

Former President Donald Trump will not be appearing on the primary ballot in Nevada on Feb. 6. But neither will Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, or former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Their absence has not escaped the notice of voters in the Silver State, some of whom have begun to receive their sample ballots for the presidential primary.

“Why is my official primary mail in ballot missing a certain DONALD J TRUMP?” a user on X wrote.  

The reason Nevadans will not be able to vote for Trump — or several of the other Republican candidates — in their state’s primary is because they chose to participate in the state GOP-sanctioned caucus instead, which will take place two days later 

“This has absolutely nothing to do with the 14th Amendment or disqualification of any candidate,” said David Becker, CBS News election law expert and political contributor. “Trump, like several other candidates, chose to stand with the state GOP and compete only in the caucus, where delegates will be chosen.” 

Why is Nevada having a primary and a caucus for 2024?

In 2021, the state legislature passed a bipartisan bill that ditched the traditional caucuses and embraced a state-run primary. The change was led by Nevada Democrats after there was chaos in reporting the results of the 2020 Democratic caucuses, leading both Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders to request recounts. 

Caucuses are run by political parties, while primary elections are organized and paid for by states.

The Nevada Republican party, which sued the state in May, wrote in a statement that Nevada Democrats were attempting to “force Republicans to change the way we choose our Presidential nominee, and allow out-of-state interests to interfere in the Nevada GOP nominating process.”

Now, Nevada Republicans will hold their own caucuses on Feb. 8, where the winner will be awarded delegates to support them at the Republican National Convention in July. 

When is Nevada’s 2024 primary election?

The move by the Nevada Republicans rendered the state primary, which will be held on Feb. 6, effectively useless for Republicans. 

Who is on the Nevada Republican primary ballot for 2024?

Still, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and candidates who already dropped out of the 2024 race — such as  former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina —  will appear on the state’s primary ballot. 

CBS News has reached out to Haley about her decision to be on the primary ballot and has not heard back.     

Only registered Republicans will be allowed to cast a ballot in the primary or caucus for a candidate. The registered Republicans who want to pick Trump, DeSantis, Ramaswamy or Christie will have to do so at the caucus on Feb. 8.

In September, Nevada’s Republican party passed a rule barring super PACs from participating in the caucus through sending staffers, surrogate speakers or literature.  

“Never Back Down,” the super PAC backing DeSantis that has had an outsized role organizing supporters for DeSantis in the Iowa caucuses, has criticized the rule and confusion around the state’s primary vs. the caucus. They stopped door-knocking in the state in August.

The DeSantis campaign indicated they’re still looking to make a play and campaign in the early state, and took a swipe at Haley, who is skipping on the caucus and appearing on the primary ballot.

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