Nevada will be an easy win for Mitt Romney on Saturday, based on his performance in the 2008 Republican presidential race. Even with Romney coming off second best to John McCain in many states elsewhere, Romney easily won the Nevada caucuses, with 51.1% to Ron Paul’s 13.7% and John McCain’s 12.75%. The reason: Mormons.
Although they only make up about 5% of the adult population in Nevada, they accounted for an estimated 25% of Republican caucus-goers four years ago. Does it follow that a Mormon will automatically vote for a candidate of the same faith? Well, in 2008, 5% voted for someone else. But the staggering statistic is the other 95% voted for Romney.
A PPP poll suggests that Saturday’s caucuses will not be significantly different; Romney on 50%, Newt Gingrich 25%, Ron Paul 15% and Rick Santorum 8%.
Nevada elections have a reputation for being colourful, with scenes of casino workers and hotel staff from Las Vegas voting in their workplaces. These tend to take place during the Democratic caucuses, but the Republican ones can be colourful too. Outside of Las Vegas, the empty desert areas tend to attract fiercely independent, eccentric personalities that make for good television.