Nevada Finally Finishes Vote Count, Romney Tops 50%

The Nevada GOP has finally released the final certified results from Saturday’s caucus:

(CNN) – Mitt Romney won Saturday’s Nevada caucuses with his highest portion of a state’s vote yet, just over 50%, according to certified results released Monday by the Nevada Republican Party.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also won the state’s GOP caucuses in 2008, received more than twice the votes of his closest opponent.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished in second place with just over 21% of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed third at 18.7%, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania earned 9.9%.

Of possible concern for the GOP is the fact that turnout was down from the 2008 caucus when roughly 44,000 people participated. This year, the number was 33,000, a drop of roughly 25%. Although, if the caucuses are run as badly as the vote counting indicates one can certainly understand why.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Although, if the caucuses are run as badly as the vote counting indicates one can certainly understand why.

    Turnout was down in Florida, and among Republicans turnout was down in New Hampshire too.

    There was 32,963 votes cast in Nevada, half of that is 16,481.5. Romney got 16,486, and thus he was 5 votes above 50%. Guess we now know why it took the Nevada GOP this long to release the results, they needed to find a couple more votes…

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    This year, the number was 33,000, a drop of roughly 25%. Although, if the caucuses are run as badly as the vote counting indicates one can certainly understand why.

    Where do you make this connection Doug? How did potential attendees know the caucuse were going to be badly run if indeed they were? Rather than draw the obvious conclusion Doug creates some fiction to rationalise what was clearly a much lower level of Republican enthusiasm than in 2008. At 25% it’s actually worse than the rumored 20% so rather than making rather odd explanations surely it’s more interesting to speculate on the underlying reasons. Party demoralisation; lack of enthusiasm for Romney which either took the form of not wanting to vote for him or not to bothering to show in anticipation he was going to be a shoo in; the depressed economic condition of the state….there could be a host of reasons to explain this low Republican turnout number which in fact has occurred in every primary so far except SC where Gingrich won so there is a pattern. This picture doesn’t suggest a Republican electorate that is well motivated for whatever reasons.

  3. @Brummagem Joe:

    I would say its generally the case that caucuses attract fewer voters than primaries to begin with, which is one of the many arguments against them. In Nevada’s case, this isn’t the first time there have been logistical problems in Nevada either. But most of all, who wants to waste their Saturday sitting in a room for an hour or more listening to speeches? I’m sure I would’ve found something better to do with my time in Vegas

  4. Gustopher says:

    So, Doug, is your claim that they turned out in 2008, discovered it was boring, and then stayed home this year expecting it to be just as boring?

  5. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    But most of all, who wants to waste their Saturday sitting in a room for an hour or more listening to speeches? I’m sure I would’ve found something better to do with my time in Vegas

    Certainly not me but that’s not the point is it? This was an apples with apples comparison where the low Republican turnout pattern duplicated that seen at other caucuses and primaries. Alas you’re venturing into CD territory again. When a set of data suggests something that doesn’t accord with your world view it’s necessary to invent some alternative explanation like a greater propensity by Republicans to gamble or play golf than existed three years ago.

  6. @Brummagem Joe:

    The Nevada GOP has been in a state of disarry since 2010 notwithstanding winning the Governor’s race and Politico reported yesterday that country party orgs were resisting cooperation over caucus planning with the state party. As I said in the post, it’s true there might be voter enthusiasm concerns here but that’s not the only factor. And, again, caucuses are an inherently flawed way to pick Presidential nominees to begin with

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And, again, caucuses are an inherently flawed way to pick Presidential nominees to begin with

    Again this may be true but again it’s not the point. There’s clearly a pattern of diminished Republican enthusiasm which doesn’t really accord with the massive Obama hate narrative which I personally believe is exaggerated. In fact at the personal level his likeability is in the sixties. I suspect although it will be bitter weeds for you and Jim that the problem is Romney.

  8. Hey Norm says:

    25% less turnout in Nevada.
    14% less in FLA.
    Turnout in both Iowa and New Hampshire was up…but padded with non-Republican voters crossing over to participate.
    Republican turnout is down 4% overall to date…in spite of strong turnout in S. Carolina where 50% more people turned out excited to vote for someone other than Romney.
    Not a good sign from a party allegedly on a mission from god to oust the incumbent.

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Hey Norm:

    According to estimates I’ve seen REAL Republican turnout in NH and IA was actually down also. The reasons aren’t too hard to discern imho. That ABC/Wapo poll….

    Overall, 55 percent of those who are closely following the campaign say they disapprove of what the GOP candidates have been saying. By better than 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him. Even among Republicans, as many offer negative as positive assessments of him on this question. Judgments about former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who denounced Romney on Saturday night in Nevada, are about 3 to 1 negative.

  10. David M says:

    It’s hard to say if the turnout in Nevada means anything, although this primary season is making me wonder if the GOP will like their candidate less than they liked McCain. Interestingly, Romney got almost the exact same percentage as in 2008 against a very different field.