So What's Going To Happen Tomorrow In Nevada?
I somehow don't think Trump's on-again, off-again endorsement of Mitt Romney will make any difference to anyone (especially not in light of today's spectacular jobs growth numbers, a success for Obama in the face of relentless and vicious Republican obstructionism from teh first day of hs term)-- although there was a recent Pew survey showing that an endorsement from the clownish Donald would make people less likely to vote for a candidate. Still, it is amazing that Trump gave his nod to Romney, who he loathes, especially after Romney wrecked his shot at a debate circus in November. (And speaking of clowns, Nevada deranged teabagger queen Sharron Angle's endorsement of Santorum isn't going to make any difference to anyone either.) So what can we expect tomorrow in Nevada? According to a brand new poll in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, it's going to be a Romney landslide, as close to 50% as he should expect anywhere outside of Utah.
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.
...At the core of Romney's strength in Nevada is support from fellow Mormons. The survey showed 85.5 percent of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they planned to caucus for Romney compared with single-digit LDS support for the other candidates. Mormons made up one-quarter of GOP caucus-goers in 2008, although they are about 7 percent of the state population.
Ahhh... the Mormons. It's practically been a tenet of their faith ever since founder Joseph Smith was assassinated while he was running for president that someday the Mormons would seize the White House and transform America. Mormons think Romney (from their version of an aristocratic Mormon lineage) is the one to make that dream come true and, regardless of ideological differences, they're doing everything they can for him-- from knocking on doors-- they're used to that-- to donating huge amounts of cash.
Just 7.5 percent of Silver State residents are Mormon, but when it comes to Saturday’s caucuses, Mormons will likely constitute a significant chunk of voters. In 2008, about a quarter of Republican caucus voters were Mormon.
“Not only will they vote for Romney,” says Nevada GOP strategist Robert Uithoven of the state’s Mormons, “but they always turn out. No matter what election, no matter who’s on the ballot, they are as reliable voters as you can find in Nevada.”
“Typically political strategists in this state try to zero in on where the LDS vote is going to go, because they are such reliable voters,” Uithoven adds, comparing it with how the senior vote is tracked closely in many states because seniors are such reliable voters.
For Romney, Mormons are a demographic group he can almost entirely capture. Last cycle, according to exit polls, 94 percent of Mormon GOP voters backed Romney. Silver State politicos anticipate that Romney will likely perform about as well this year with Mormon voters.
“Most of them are going to see this as an opportunity to get an LDS [member] as the nominee, if not the president,” says David Damore, a political-science professor at University of Nevada–Las Vegas. “And that’s going to outweigh anything else.”
For Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum, Nevada thus proves a uniquely difficult state to win. It’s theoretically possible to lose the Mormon vote and win the state, but it would require finding a significant bloc of support among the three quarters of voters that aren’t Mormon. On Monday, Gingrich was blunt about the difficulties of winning the state, saying, “Nevada’s tricky because of the Mormon influence, but we have a shot at it.”
...[Connor] Boyack concedes that it can be tough to persuade Mormons to look at a candidate besides Romney.
“I do know that many people base their support for Mitt Romney almost entirely on the fact that he’s a Mormon,” he says, “and it would be great to have a member of our faith in the White House, just as black people did with Obama.”
Romney and his Mormon backers should remember, though, that he isn't the first right-wing elitist to brag about not caring for the poor. He joins the proud ranks of Caligula, Charles I, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Nicholas II, Benito Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi...