President Joe Biden easily won Nevada’s Democratic presidential primary Tuesday night, putting him one step closer to formally securing his party’s nomination for a matchup against likely GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Rep. Dean Phillips, the Minnesota Democrat running a long-shot primary challenge against Biden, entered the race too late to get on the ballot in Nevada, meaning self-help author Marianne Williamson was Biden’s best-known challenger in Tuesday’s contest.
Biden is on track to win the vast majority of the vote, with Williamson finishing far behind him, just as she did in the two previous contests, in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“I want to thank the voters of Nevada for sending me and Kamala Harris to the White House four years ago, and for setting us one step further on that same path again tonight. We must organize, mobilize, and vote. Because one day, when we look back, we’ll be able to say, when American democracy was a risk, we saved it — together,” Biden said in a statement.
This is the first year Nevada Democrats held a primary instead of caucuses. The state made the change to comply with new Democratic National Committee rules, which also revamped the presidential nominating calendar for 2024.
Next up for Democrats, on Feb. 27, is Michigan, a newcomer to the pre-Super Tuesday window of early primaries and a critical general election swing state.
While Biden’s campaign made a show of competing in last Saturday’s South Carolina primary and it is working to shore up support among restive groups in Michigan, such as Muslim voters, it put little effort into Nevada.
Despite polls showing Biden weaker against Trump now than at any point in 2020, he has faced only token opposition for renomination, and virtually every elected Democrat in the country has rallied behind him, depriving Phillips or Williamson of much political oxygen or momentum.
With the Democratic nomination seemingly in hand, Biden’s re-election campaign has been focused on Trump since it started.
To the extent that there has been drama in the Democratic primaries, it has been in the process, not the results.
The DNC tried to demote New Hampshire from its traditional first-in-the-nation position, but state officials scheduled their primary to be first anyway.
Biden kept his name off the ballot in New Hampshire because the primary violated party rules, but he still easily won the unsanctioned Jan. 23 contest as a write-in candidate. He received 64% of the vote to Phillips’ 20% and Williamson’s 4%.
In South Carolina, Biden won 96% of the vote.