Early-Primary State Nev. Fights for GOP Respect

Monday, 11 Apr 2011 12:39 PM

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Nevada holds one of the first Republican presidential primary votes next year, yet it’s not recognized as a key state in deciding the nominee, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The state holds a caucus vote on Feb. 18. That’s four days after the New Hampshire and before South Carolina. But because of the disappointing 2008 caucuses in the state, and the strength of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney there, the state doesn’t get as much attention as the other early-primary states.

In 2008, just over 44,000 Nevada Republicans voted in the Jan. 19 presidential caucuses, a fraction of the 117,000 who cast ballots on the same day in the Democratic caucuses, the newspaper reported.

Nevada,caucuses,Republican presidential primaries,Romney,Brian Sandoval
Gov. Brian Sandoval
That low turnout was blamed largely on Romney’s strength in the state, which he won by a 37-point margin over Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. However, Nevada officials think 2012 will be different.

“We have already begun planning and we all agree that it’s incredibly important that Republicans in Nevada do well in terms of showing that they can match or exceed what the Democrats have done in the past,” said Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who was elected in 2010.

Mike Slanker, a prominent Republican consultant in the state, predicted that “the caucuses will be much more organized under the leadership of Governor Sandoval than they were in 2008.”

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