Biden wins Nevada Democratic primary, NBC News projects

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U.S. President Joe Biden holds a campaign rally ahead of the state’s Democratic presidential primary, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. February 4, 2024.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden has won Nevada’s Democratic primary, NBC News projects.

The other Democrat on the ballot was self-help author and former 2020 Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson. Biden’s other competitor was a ballot option for “None of these candidates.”

The president’s victory comes days after he won his first official primary in South Carolina on Saturday in a landslide, winning 96.2% of the votes against House Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and Williamson.

Nevada will award its 36 Democratic delegates proportionally, based on the final vote count. Democratic candidates need 1,968 delegates to secure the nomination.

Ahead of Tuesday’s in-person primary, 14,400 early votes had already been cast and over 127,700 mail-in ballots had been accepted for counting, according to Nevada’s Secretary of State. Of those, 62% were votes in the Democratic primary, and 38% were in the Republican primary.

There, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is running Tuesday without an opponent. Former President Donald Trump is skipping Tuesday, and will participate in the state party’s caucus on Thursday instead.

Nevada is the first 2024 primary contest in the West, and come November it will be a closely-watched swing state.

Democrats have won Nevada in the past four presidential elections. But voters there elected a Republican, Joe Lombardo, as governor in 2022. Lombardo has already endorsed Republican Donald Trump for president.

In the 2020 general election, Latino voters helped Biden to win Nevada by a razor-thin margin of just over 33,000 votes in a state with 1.8 million registered voters.

That close-call has made Democrats even more focused on growing voter this year.

Still, without a competitive opponent in the primary here, the actual significance of turnout numbers Tuesday will be difficult to interpret. That’s because significantly fewer voters go out to cast ballots in races that are not competitive, where one candidate holds an overwhelming advantage.

Ahead of Tuesday’s in-person primary, 14,400 early votes had already been cast and over 127,700 mail-in ballots had been accepted for counting, according to Nevada’s Secretary of State.

Next on Biden’s primary calendar is Michigan, another major swing state, where 117 Democratic delegates are up for grabs.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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