Entries in Nevada Caucuses (3)


ABC News Projects Romney the Winner of the Nevada Caucuses

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- ABC News projects Mitt Romney the winner of the Nevada caucuses.

The former Massachusetts Governor’s win in Nevada was widely expected. He easily won the state in 2008 with the support of 95 percent of Mormon voters, who made up 26 percent of caucus-goers this year.

Romney’s victory comes after wins in both the New Hampshire and Florida primaries, as well as a second-place finish in South Carolina last month.

Romney rode into victory on his calling card: the ability to defeat President Obama. Four in 10 caucus-goers named it as the most important candidate attribute in their vote, and those who did backed Romney by 74-18 percent over Newt Gingrich. It was Romney’s best performance among beat-Obama-voters to date, according to entrance polls.

Nevada awards its 28 delegates proportionally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


On Day of Nevada Caucuses, Santorum Gambles on Colorado

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MONTROSE, Colo.) -- GOP contender Rick Santorum campaigned in Colorado Saturday, the day of the Nevada caucus, hoping to have better luck here than in a state famous for high-stakes gambling.

He said he wrote off Nevada because he was outspent by both front-runner Mitt Romney and libertarian favorite Rep. Ron Paul.

“Nevada is a state that very much favors Gov. Romney,” Santorum said. “He’s invested about $1 million in the state already. Ron Paul’s got close to $1 million in the state. We just don’t have those resources. We think we’ll do well in some of the conservative areas.”

Santorum visited Colorado twice this week, drawing surprisingly large crowds in rural areas.

He used an event in Montrose, on the Western Slope, to attack both government regulation and slyly jab competitor Newt Gingrich.

“We’ll make sure that you don’t do something to scar the land or you don’t do something to endanger a newt,” he said. “No, not that Newt, different newt. I want to endanger that Newt — that’s a different story.”

Joining him for the past two days was billionaire Foster Friess, the number one contributor to Santorum’s super PAC Red White and Blue.

Santorum maintained that despite their close friendship and time spent in each other’s company, they were not communicating about campaign finances.

“I’m very, very fastidious about conversations I’ve had with him,” he said. “Fosters been a friend for years and years and continues to be a friend. We don’t talk about any activity of the super PAC at all. I have no idea about what he’s doing or how much he’s giving and I don’t want to know. We talk about family. We talk about other activities. He’s very careful in that regard and so am I.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nevada’s Caucuses: What’s the 411?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- People from around the world visit Nevada for one overarching reason: they’re looking to win big. The four remaining GOP candidates—Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul—are hoping for the same outcome in Saturday’s caucuses.

Nevada hosts the fifth voting contest of the 2012 primary season, and the second round of caucuses. The event, which is overseen by the Nevada Republican Party, has the distinction of being the first voting contest in the West.

Like Florida, Nevada’s contest is only open to registered Republicans. The registration deadline ended Jan. 21, two weeks before Saturday’s caucus date. The state lists 468,174 registered Republicans, about 35 percent of the total registered voting population. In 2008, 44,315 votes were cast in the Republican presidential caucus.

Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul are the only candidates who will appear on the ballot in Nevada. There is no uncommitted option, and no write-in option.

Romney is widely expected to win in Nevada. He swept the Silver State in 2008, winning the caucuses with 51 percent of the vote. Paul came in second place, with 14 percent. Paul’s strategy has focused on repeating his success in the state. He opted to forgo campaigning in Florida in favor of spending time in Nevada. Twenty-eight delegates are at stake and they will be doled out on a proportional basis.

One of the reasons often cited for Romney’s strong showing in Nevada in the past is the state’s large Mormon population. An estimated 5 percent of all U.S. Mormons live in Nevada, according to a 2009 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The Church of Latter-day Saints counts a membership of 175,149 in the state.

Caucus times will vary across the state, but most will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT. There is one evening caucus scheduled at 7 p.m. in Clark County for those voters who cannot caucus during the day because of religious reasons.

The narrative of the state of the economy takes on a particular importance in Nevada. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the country—12.6 percent as of December. Nevada also has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. One in every 177 homes in Nevada received a foreclosure filing in December 2011, according to the foreclosure database RealtyTrac.

Nevada is home to Gingrich mega-supporter Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who have donated $10 million to the super PAC supporting Gingrich, Winning Our Future. Despite the Adelson backing, however, the group is being heavily outspent by the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, which has spent a little more than $202,000 on ad buys. Winning Our Future has only spent about $50,000 in the state on Internet advertising and radio advertising, according to their Federal Election Commission filings.

The most important county to watch in Nevada’s caucus is Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. Clark is home to 71 percent of the population, and it made up 54 percent of the total vote in 2008. Romney scored a big victory in Clark County 2008, with 58 percent of the vote.

The other county to keep an eye on is Washoe County. The second-most populous county in the state, Washoe County is also traditionally more Republican then Clark County. Barack Obama won both Clark and Washoe Counties in 2008, but prior to that, Washoe County had not gone for a Democratic presidential nominee since it went for Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Clark County has supported every Democratic nominee for president since 1992. Romney won Washoe County with 44 percent of the vote in 2008.

The two counties make up 85 percent of all the caucus sites in the Silver State.

Nevada’s caucuses kick off a string of caucuses scheduled for the month of February. Colorado and Minnesota will host their caucuses Tuesday, and Missouri will have its primary (although no delegates will be awarded in Missouri until the state meets for its caucuses March 17.) Maine will host its caucuses from Feb. 4-11.

The next major primaries are Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio