Romney Headed For Big Win In Nevada
It looks like Mitt Romney is headed for a big win in Saturday’s Nevada Caucuses:
A new poll shows Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney headed for a blowout victory Saturday in Nevada’s GOP caucuses.
Romney wins support from 45 percent of Nevada Republicans who said they plan to participate in the caucuses, the survey commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow said.
Newt Gingrich is Romney’s closest threat with 25 percent backing, thanks in large part to Republicans who say they “strongly support” the tea party movement.
Rick Santorum edges out Ron Paul, 11 percent to 9 percent, although the Texas congressman often outperforms polls by turning out his loyal backers in caucus contests, where party members pick their favorites. Paul is deeply organized here. Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, is not well-known in Nevada and only recently hired staff and opened an office to compete here.
Another 9 percent said they didn’t know who they planned to back. That leaves room for a Romney opponent to pick up undecided support before Saturday — or for the former Massachusetts governor to make gains and try to match his winning 51 percent total in the 2008 GOP caucuses here.
“If Romney gets 50 percent, it means conservatives are finally coalescing around him,” said David Damore, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Romney has to expand beyond the establishment to demonstrate he’s got momentum and the party behind him.”
Romney is aided by two things in Nevada. First, is his organization which, as in Florida, has been on the ground longer than anyone else. Second, there’s the Mormon factor. The LDS Church is the second largest denomination in the state, and accounted for 26% of the vote in the 2008 Republican caucuses. Four years ago, Romney cracked the 50% barrier in Nevada. He’s got a good shot of doing it again.