is the Nevada Caucus Important?
The Nevada Caucus will be the third step in the
2012 United States presidential election process
after Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary.
The Nevada Caucus came into prominence
in 2008 when the Democrats moved the date of the
Nevada Caucus into the third overall spot and
the fist election in the west for the presidency
of the United States of America.
The date of the Nevada
Democratic Caucuses were moved up for a several
reasons. For starters is the simple fact that
the West has been growing at a faster rate than
the rest of the nation and they were not being
represented early enough to vote in a meaningful
way. That population growth includes Nevada's
large and growing Hispanic population who will
now have a stronger voice in the election process.
It also helps that Nevada is a small state (population-wise)
and would likely be skipped over by many candidates.
Nevada has very independent and balanced political
views similar to New Hampshire. In the end, both
parties wanted a system to allow each of the four
regions of the United States (Midwest, Northeast,
South and the West) to be represented and with
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid represented
Nevada, it became the logical choice.
the Nevada Caucus work?
As most caucuses work, you do not do a direct
vote for a candidate like primaries. The caucus
has 3 levels: The precinct, the county convention
and finally the state convention. Overall Nevada
has 33 Democratic delegates and 34 Republican
This is where any
registered voter can participate. The precinct
voting is a very informal proceeding. It starts
with the voters gathered into preference groups
for each candidate. A simple head count is taken
for each precinct. It takes a minimum of 15 percent
in each precinct for a candidate to be viable.
If a candidate's preference group is not viable,
they can choose to caucus with another group (pick
another candidate), or be uncommitted. There is
time for each viable candidate's group to try
to talk the unviable candidates voters into choosing
their candidate. This is way many times a candidate
will seem to have not received any votes, though
the actually may have originally. Each precinct
then elects a representative (delegate) to move
on to the county convention.
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Delegates to the county convention were then selected
amongst the candidate groups. A similar process
occurred at the county convention. Although they
file statements of support for their chosen candidate,
all delegates are technically unbound until the
state convention, otherwise the may change their
vote. In some cases the candidate originally chosen
may have dropped out of the race.
There is no formal system of allocating delegates
to presidential candidates at the state convention
for the Republicans while the Democrats delegates
to the state convention are chosen by vote at
the county convention.
The 2008 Democratic Nevada
Voters showed up in record numbers for the presidential
caucuses in Nevada, surprising Democratic and
Republican organizers who figured on lower turnout.
Hillary Clinton won the initial precinct caucuses
51% to 45% over Barack Obama. This is the most
important one to win for it is the one that is
reported to the media and as the third election,
it can determine whether or not a candidate continues.
Barack Obama had won Iowa and had just won the
South Carolina primary, while Hillary Clinton
had won New Hampshire. A loss in Nevada may have
put Clinton in a possible position conceding early.
The Democratic County Convention was overwhelmed
by the amount of delegates who showed up and was
canceled and rescheduled. Doubt Clinton's initial
victory after the state convention Barack Obama
ended up receiving 14 national delegates and Hillary
Clinton received 11 national delegates from the
state of Nevada.
The 2008 Republican Nevada
Mitt Romney won the precinct caucuses with 51%
of the vote while Ron Paul finished a distant
second with 14% of the vote. Eventual nominee,
John McCain, finished with 13% of the vote. He
and other candidates chose to campaign in South