Trump is campaigning in Nevada, where he has virtually no rivals

Former President Donald J. Trump, who has long dominated the Republican race for the nomination, has made it clear for months that he wants to focus on a likely general election matchup between himself and President Biden.

On Saturday, he will campaign in Nevada, a critical battleground state. But first he’ll need at least a handful of his supporters to hit the state’s caucuses on Feb. 8 — and his last remaining Republican rival for the nomination, Nikki Haley, is doing her best to remind him that she’s still in the race, even if do not meet in Nevada.

Backtracking on Friday, Ms. Haley attacked Mr. Trump as an “independent” on Fox News as she continued to try to bait him into a one-on-one debate. Mr. Trump was in a courtroom in New York, but his campaign sent emails referencing articles that appeared to support the case that she should give up the race to him, and attacking her on immigration.

“There’s one thing Americans know — Nicky will always put America last,” wrote Steven Cheung, Trump’s spokesman.

There are two contests coming up in Nevada: the caucuses and the Feb. 6 presidential primary. In the presidential primary, Ms. Haley is on the ballot but won’t count toward the GOP nomination, so she skips the state entirely. The caucuses represent Mr. Trump without a single primary challenger — and it’s a contest that will determine who gets the state delegate award.

Critics have claimed the state created the clubs to benefit Mr Trump – which the party denies.

“Nevada is definitely going to be a good messaging opportunity for Trump, because he’s going to win all the delegates here, and he’s going to win unopposed,” said Jeremy Gelman, associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. “He’ll be able to say he swept Nevada.”

Still, the specter of Ms. Haley’s continued presence in the race is likely to hang over Trump’s speech on Saturday, his first campaign event since winning New Hampshire, where he defeated her by 11 percentage points.

The former president and his team hoped his appearance there would persuade Ms. Haley to end her campaign. But she vowed to keep fighting, drawing the ire of Mr Trump.

“I don’t get too mad,” he said Tuesday. In a sign he was likely to continue escalating his attacks on her, he added: “I’m reckoning.”

On Saturday, she will be across the country, holding a rally in her home state of South Carolina, the site of her next election battle with Mr. Trump on February 24. Back in Las Vegas, he’ll be sharing a different split screen, this one with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Ms. Harris will attend a get-out-the-vote event at union headquarters aimed at boosting turnout in Nevada’s Democratic primary.

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