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PRIMARY UPDATE: Nikki Haley loses to 'none of these candidates'

Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Holds Campaign Events In South Carolina

Photo: Brandon Bell / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Trump wasn't on the ballot, but Haley lost Nevada's Republican presidential primary anyway. You see, Nevada holds a 'competing' presidential nomination contests – which is a primary with Haley and a caucus with Trump.

LAS VEGAS - Former President Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary in the early voting state of Nevada.

But his absence wasn't enough to help secure a victory for his last remaining major rival for the 2024 GOP nomination – Nikki Haley.

Voters casting ballots in the state-run Republican nominating contest couldn't write in Trump's name, but they could vote for a "none of these candidates" option.

And the Associated Press projected that the "none of these candidates" option would defeat Haley in a primary where no delegates to this summer's Republican convention were at stake. Trump supporters Fox News spoke with at polling stations said they were casting a ballot for "none of these candidates."

Former President Donald Trump campaigns in Las Vegas ahead of GOP caucus

While her name was on the ballot, the former two-term South Carolina governor who later served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration ignored the Nevada primary.

Haley didn't campaign in Nevada ahead of the primary and hasn't been in the state since speaking in late October at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership conference.

"In terms of Nevada, we have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada," Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney told reporters on Monday. "So Nevada is not and has never been our focus."

It was a similar message from campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas, who said after the results came in that "even Donald Trump knows that when you play penny slots the house wins. We didn’t bother to play a game rigged for Trump. We’re full steam ahead in South Carolina and beyond."

As the vote count continued, the former president took to his Truth Social network to take aim at Haley:

"A bad night for Nikki Haley. Losing by almost 30 points in Nevada to "None of These Candidates." Watch, she’ll soon claim Victory!" he argued.

And Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita pointed towards Haley's home state, which holds the next major contest in the GOP nominating calendar on Feb. 24.

"More embarrassment coming in South Carolina …the @NikkiHaley Delusional Tour continues,' LaCivita claimed in a social media post.

While Trump, the commanding front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination as he makes his third straight White House run, wasn't on the primary ballot, his name will be listed on Thursday in a presidential caucus being run by the Nevada GOP.

CLICK HERE for more: Nikki Haley campaign calls Nevada caucus 'rigged' for Trump

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