Romney Headed For Blowout In Nevada Caucuses

Thanks in large part to an organization that’s been in existence since the 2008 election, not to mention a significant population of Mormons, Mitt Romney looks to be headed for a huge victory in tomorrow’s Nevada Caucuses. Yesterday, for example, we got a poll from the Las Vegas Review-Journal showing Romney leading Newt Gingrich by twenty points and just below the 50% mark. It’s not at all inconceivable that Romeny will pass the 50% barrier. In 2008, he managed to get 51% of the vote, blowing his opposition out of the water by a 37 point margin. Additionally, the latest Public Policy Polling poll shows Romney above 50% with room to grow:

Mitt Romney is headed for a dominant victory in Nevada on Saturday.  PPP finds him polling at 50% to 25% for Newt Gingrich, 15% for Ron Paul, and 8% for Rick Santorum.

Certainly in Nevada the Mormon vote will get a lot of attention and Romney leads Paul 78-14 with that group, which we project to account for 20% of the vote. But Romney’s dominance in Nevada goes well beyond that. He’s winning voters describing as ‘very conservative,’ a group he’s had huge amount of trouble with in other states, by a 43-34 margin over Gingrich. He’s also winning men, women, Hispanics, whites, and every age group that we track. This will be a pretty thorough victory for him.

The bad news for Gingrich isn’t just that’s headed for a distant second place finish. Nevada Republicans actively dislike him, with only 41% holding a favorable opinion of him to 49% with a negative one. That’s an indication that GOP voters might be starting to sour on him again, sending his numbers back to pre-South Carolina levels.

Santorum has great favorability numbers, with 64% of voters seeing him positively to only 23% with a negative opinion. That was the case in Florida as well, but it’s just not translating into much support for him. He’s the most frequent 2nd choice candidate in Nevada with 30% picking him on that question and no one else above 16%.  That’s more evidence that in a less crowded field he might be able to get some more traction. But for now it’s just not happening.

Santorum doesn’t seem to be mounting much of a campaign in Nevada, and Gingrich’s campaign is suffering from incredible disorganization, so the possibility that Ron Paul could surprise and come in second like he did in 2008 does exist, although it seems like a difficult feat for him to accomplish this time around. This is a caucus, though, so organization and committed supporters, of which there seem to be plenty for Paul in The Silver State, could make for a surprise tomorrow. The one thing that won’t be a surprise, though, is what appears to be a rather easy victory for Romney as he continues to roll forward.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.