On March 15, former President Donald J. Trump won the GOP caucus in the Northern Mariana Islands with 319 votes, and the opposing candidate, Nikki Haley, received 25 votes. The territory held the first GOP contest since Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee.

President Joe Biden, who is set for a November rematch with Trump, won the Democratic primary with 93.9% of the votes and 6 pledged delegates on March 12. Other Democratic primary candidates included Jason Palmer, Marianne Williamson, and Dean Phillips, who earned four, two, and zero votes, respectively.

Although the islands do not cast electoral votes for the presidential election because they are a territory and not a state, they do hold primary caucuses. The Northern Mariana Islands allocates nine delegates to the Republican Convention in August and 11 delegates to the Democratic Convention on a proportional basis. 

President Biden has only faced one loss in his race for the nomination. Biden lost to Palmer, who won by 11 votes in American Samoa on Super Tuesday.

Palmer was the only candidate in both political parties’ primaries who campaigned in the territories exclusively.

“I don’t believe any other campaigns have reached out to Northern Mariana or American Samoa or Hawaii or even Gaum,” he said in an interview with KUAM News, an NBC affiliate in Guam. “I think that by focusing on places that are underappreciated and overlooked and actually understanding your needs and responding to your needs, that’s one part of the strategy.”

As the presidential race unfolds, such strategic approaches could play a pivotal role in shaping the outcome of future primaries and caucuses. Addressing the unique concerns of territories like the Northern Mariana Islands highlights the significance of regional engagement in the electoral process.