Nevada, like Iowa, conducts a caucus, not a primary.
Perhaps, like Iowa, the pollsters don’t have the best read on the outcome.
The Des Moines Register poll released just prior to the caucus — described as generally the most accurate — gave Donald Trump the lead with 28 points, followed by Ted Cruz with 23 points and Marco Rubio with just 15 on the Republican slate. Hillary Clinton was expected to best Bernie Sanders by 45 to 42 points.
When the smoke cleared Cruz came out on top and Rubio only trailed Trump by a single point and Clinton and Sanders were virtually tied. The Wall Street Journal subscribers can view a graphic with comprehensive results, that also show the delegate count. (Not to spread fear for the future of this country, but … socialist Sanders, according to WSJ entrance poll, won 84 percent of the 17-29 year-olds.)
Telephone polls are more like primaries, where you go into a booth and make a selection and go home. In a caucus, people actually talk to each other and can point out to supporters of Trump that he is an epithet-spewing, snarling bully who has never met a fence he couldn’t straddle.
He has contributed as much money to Democrats as Republicans, including Harry Reid and Hillary and Bill Clinton.
He strongly favors using the government power of eminent domain to take property from a private property owner to give to rich real estate developers like himself.
He backed a single-payer health care system, saying, “I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better,” but now says he opposes ObamaCare.
He has criticized the NRA for balking at gun restrictions, but doesn’t say that now.
He was for privatizing Social Security, but not now.
He opposes giving Western states greater control of federal public lands.
He announced his candidacy shortly after getting a phone call from Bill Clinton.
As in Iowa, the latest Nevada poll by Gravis shows Trump leading here with 33 points compared to 20 for Cruz and 11 for Rubio. But perhaps that will change once people start talking to each other about where the candidates really stand on the issues.
The Nevada precinct caucuses later this month will elect delegates to county conventions, where delegates to the state convention will be picked and that’s where delegates for the national conventions this summer will be selected.
The Democrats caucus at noon on the 20th and Republicans on the evening of the 23rd at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the location.
Republicans must be registered with the state by Feb. 13. Republicans may preregister for the caucus at nevadagopcaucus.org.
Democrats may register the day of the caucus. Information can be found at nvdems.com/caucus.