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What Nevada Means

February 6, 2012

Nevada is set to be a fierce battleground in the fall between the winner of the Republican nomination and Democratic President Obama. The state’s unemployment rate was measured at 12.6 percent in December, the worst in the country and it’s at the heart of the housing bubble.

Mitt Romney was declared the GOP caucus winner with just over 50 percent of the vote. Newt Gingrich finished second with 21 percent, followed by Ron Paul at 19 percent. Rick Santorum was four with just 10 percent of the vote.

The percentage gap appears to give the candidate an edge, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. Back in 2008 Romney took about half the vote in the caucuses including Nevada, but ultimately lost the Republican nomination to John McCain.  Romney visited the state more than any other candidate taking time to share his message that President Obama’s economic polices have failed Nevada in it’s hour of need.

Despite Donald Trump’s Thursday endorsement and the media attention it brought with it the constituency that guaranteed Romney victory was one he was always destined to have; the Mormon vote. There are just over 175,000 Mormons in the state, roughly 7 percent of the population. But they accounted for nearly a quarter of all Nevada GOP caucus-goers.

That estimate suggested that Romney won about 36 percent of the non Mormon vote, putting him approximately 8 points ahead of Gingrich with other GOP voters. That statistic is much more in line with his consistent 8 to 9 point lead nationally.

Regardless, victory in hand Romney is acting like a front-runner again spending more time campaigning against Obama than the Republican field.

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