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LIVE BLOG: Mitt Romney Wins The Nevada Caucuses

Staff Reporters |
February 4, 2012 | 2:48 p.m. PST

The state of Nevada will have its say today in who voters want to represent the Republican party in the 2012 general election against President Barack Obama. The consensus appears to be that Mitt Romney, who won Nevada in 2008, is once again headed for victory. The big questions for today: how much will he win by, and who will place second? The caucuses end at 3 p.m. Results are being released throughout the day, with officialy tallies coming later this afternoon. An extra caucus, for those who observe the Sabbath, will be held at 7 p.m., with those results expected to come shortly after.

Here's the latest from Nevada:

9:11 p.m. PT: Romney leads with 39.1% of votes followed by Gingrich with 27.2%, Paul with 18.6% and Santorum with 14.4%.

- Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 4, 2012

9 p.m. PT: Gingrich holds press conference, announces he is not dropping out of the race. Calls it Romney campaign's "greatest fantasy."

7:56 p.m. PT: CNN reports that Romney won with 47% of votes, Gingrich followed with 21%, Paul came in close with 20% and Santorum received 12% of votes.

7:00 p.m. PT: CNN projects Mitt Romney has won the Nevada caucus.

6:47 p.m. PT: An interesting snapshot from the latest Colorado poll; shows some good news for Santorum and some bad news for Gingrich:

Santorum winning Tea Partiers and Evangelicals in Colorado...you can sort of see top anti-Mitt status shifting from Newt to him

— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) February 5, 2012

6:45 p.m. PT: More results from Nevada GOP:

Current #NVCaucus results with 8.1% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 24.9%, Paul: 21.5%, Romney: 40.5%, Santorum 12.8%, No Vote: 0.3%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

6:40 p.m. PT: Rick Santorum pulled out the bolo tie before a speech he gave in Greeley, Colorado.

All politics is local Pic Of The Day. @RickSantorum wearing a bolo tie in Greeley, Colorado. twitter.com/GoldmanRussell…

— Russell Goldman (@GoldmanRussell) February 5, 2012

6:34 p.m. PT: The latest results from the Nevada GOP:

With 7.5% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 25.1%, Paul: 22.1%, Romney: 39.3%, Santorum 13.1%, No Vote: 0.3%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop), February 4, 2012

6:33 p.m. PT: Newt Gingrich's press conference tonight appears to be related to his announcement of a new campaign strategy. According to Business Insider:

Gingrich plans to lay out a delegate-based strategy that will allow him to make good on his promise to stay in the race until the Republican National Convention this summer.


The plan is set to be the subject of Gingrich's 8 p.m. press conference at The Venetian hotel here tonight. The former Speaker is also expected to announce a return to a positive campaign message. Two weeks of bloody interparty battle had visibly rattled Gingrich, so it is unsurprising that he is calling for an end to the mudslinging.

6:24 p.m. PT: The latest results from the Nevada GOP:

Current #NVCaucus results with 4.6% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 20.2%, Paul: 29.5%, Romney: 36.8%, Santorum 13.3%, No Vote: 0.2%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

6:21 p.m. PT: Another comparison to the 2008 Nevada caucus: Ron Paul's Nevada percentage increased from 13.7% (2008) to about 21% (2012 with 10% in). Romney's percentage has decreased very sightly from 51.1 (2008) to about 48 (2012 w/ 10% in). The 10% reporting figures are from CNN.

6:16 p.m. PT: CNN has 10% in now: Romney is at 48%, Paul is second with 21%, Gingrich is third at 20%, and Santorum is last at 11%. 

6:12 p.m. PT: More results from NV GOP. With 6.2% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 20.8%, Paul: 26.3%, Romney: 40.4%, Santorum 12.3%, No Vote: 0.2%

6:08 p.m. PT: The latest numbers from CNN: With 9% of precincts reporting, Romney  is at 47%, Paul has 21%, Newt's at 20%, and Santorum is still last with 11%.

5:59 p.m. PT: For those looking for a comparison on how Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are doing now compared to in 2008, here's the results from the Nevada caucuses 4 years ago: Mitt Romney (51.1%), Ron Paul (13.73%), John McCain (12.75%) ( which equated to 18, 4, and 4 delegates, respectively.)

5:54 p.m. PT: Gingrich's campaign remains deep in debt, The Washington Post reported late Saturday afternoon: "Newt Gingrich’s campaign remains roughly $600,000 in debt, two months after it reported deep debts and a long list of creditors, newly released campaign spending records show."

Newt's new "strategy" in a nutshell: I can't win, I have no money, but I'm still not dropping out.

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 5, 2012

5:50 p.m. PT: More results from the Nevada GOP:

Current #NVCaucus results with 4.6% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 20.2%, Paul: 29.5%, Romney: 36.8%, Santorum 13.3%, No Vote: 0.2%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

5:44 p.m. PT: The latest figures from VNN: with 8% of the precincts reporting, Romney is way ahead with 45% of the vote; Newt Gingrich narrowly leads Ron Paul, 22-21%; and Rick Santorum is pulling up the rear with 11%.

5:42 p.m. PT: With all votes in, Ron Paul won Nye County easily w/ 45.6%. Romney placed 2nd in county w/  29.2%. Mineral County is the only other county Romney has lost so far. Gingrich got 37.9%, just edging Romney's 35.9%.

5:39 p.m. PT: CNN reports Paul beating Romney in Nye County by bigger margin than in 2008.

5:38 p.m. PT: With 4% of the precincts reporting, here are the results, according to the Nevada Republican party: Romney is leading the pack with 38%, Paul is at 30%, Gingrich is at 20% and Santorum is last with 13%. 

5:33 p.m. PT: Here are the latest results:

Current #NVCaucus results with 2.2% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 22.4%, Paul: 15.4%, Romney: 45%, Santorum 17.1%, No Vote: 0.1%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

5:28 p.m. PT: Rick Santorum said "we are not going to win this election if either of these two guys is nominated. Let me assure you. We will not win," ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jack Tapper reported on Twitter.

5:18 p.m. PT: Looking towards the general election, panelists predict Obama "trounces" Romney on the possibly paramount Latino vote in Nevada.

5:15 p.m. PT: CNN reports with 4% of the precincts reporting, Romney is winning with 48%, Gingrich is second at 23%, Paul is at 18% and Santorum is still last with 10%.

5:14 p.m. PT: Gingrich's lead was very short-lived:

Current #NVCaucus results with 1.6% of precincts reporting: Gingrich: 20.8%, Paul: 15.5%, Romney: 45.9%, Santorum 17.7%, No Vote: 0.1%

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

5:11 p.m. PT: According to the Nevada GOP website, Gingrich is actually up over Romney by more than 14%, but that's with only 0.5% of the precincts reporting.

5:09 p.m. PT: Will Cane on a CNN panel "Nevada is looking very establishment tonight."

5:07 p.m. PT: Official esults are starting to trickle in:

FIRST RESULTS - Eureka County: Ging: 30, Paul: 18, Romn: 34, Sant: 17 #nvcaucus

— Nevada GOP (@nvgop) February 5, 2012

5:06 p.m. PT: In Carson City, voters call to "throw everybody out of Congress."  However, they have some respect and let the former Speaker of the House claim runner-up in the caucuses to Romney.

5:04 p.m. PT: The official figures should be released anytime now. You can follow @nvgop on Twitter for live results.

5:00 p.m. PT: Updated numbers from CNN: Romey still ahead with 48% of the vote, Gingrich is second with 23%, Ron Paul is now third at 18% and Rick Santorum is still last with 10%.

4:55 p.m. PT: Romney is confident his shot at the Presidency will be heard "round the world" he just can't tell you win he'll get the chance to fire.  In response to the question of when he will pull in a caucus win: "I don't have the numbers in front of me to make that prediction."

4:53 p.m. PT: USA Today reports that three out of four Nevada caucus-goers identifed themselves as supporters of the Tea Party, according to entrance polls.

4:49 p.m. PT: If Mitt Romney does win the Republican presidential nomination, he will recieve the generous financial support of Newt Gingrich backer Sheldon Adelson. According to The New York Times, Adelson is deeply invested in defeating President Obama. More from The New York Times:

The assurances have been conveyed in response to a highly delicate campaign by Mr. Romney and his top Jewish financial supporters to dissuade Mr. Adelson from adding to the $10 million that he and his wife have given to a pro-Gingrich “super PAC,” Winning Our Future, that has been tearing into Mr. Romney through television advertising.

Several people who have spoken with Mr. Adelson over the past two weeks said he would most likely continue to help the group as long as Mr. Gingrich remained in the race. But, they said, he is concerned that additional deep-pocketed donors have not joined him. And, they said, his affection for and loyalty to Mr. Gingrich, who met with him here on Friday, have not blinded him to the reality that the nominating contest is tilting in Mr. Romney’s favor.

4:46 p.m. PT: After earning the Tea Party vote in Nevada, analysts wonder if Mitt Romney’s potential in the general election overshadows an imposed “establishment” platform.

Gee. 51% of Nevada Tea Party voters voted for #Romney.You're tempting me to trust you again TP!#wary

— Mike Sage (@AmericaNeedsMR) February 4, 2012

4:29 p.m. PT: Newt is "ashamed of the dishonesty and negativity that has characterized this campaign," which is why he is suddenly touting the totally fitting image of a trampoline for the poor.

4:24 p.m. PT: CNN describes Romney subscribing to "a different playbook," deferring attacks from Gingrich to Obama.

4:13 p.m. PT: Newt Gingrich will definitely not be dropping out of the race at a press conference he's holding at the Venetian in Las Vegas in a few hours, according to The Washington Examiner's chief political correspondent Byron York:

Asked top Gingrich guy about leaving-race rumors this morning. Answer: 'NOT withdrawing.'

— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 5, 2012

4:10 p.m. PT: Ron Paul is still speaking in Minnesota. His "Revolution" seems to involve returning “liberty” to the people (ten, twelve, maybe fifteen times over) in “freedom-oriented events” like his crowd-rousing speech in Minnesota today.

I may be reaching saturation point with all these West Wing extended episodes.They need to make Ron Paul a little less repetitive.#nvcaucus

— Donna Moss (@donnatella_moss) February 4, 2012

4:05 p.m. PT: With all eyes on Nevada, one things forgotten is that the Maine caucuses begin today as well. Most of the caucuses in Maine will be today, but some will take place during the week, and results will not be announced until next Saturday, February 11. However, no delegates will be awarded until the state's convention in May. Mitt Romney carried the state four years ago. Romney and Paull are considered the favorites to win in Maine this year. More from Politico: "Maine Republicans say it’s a two-man race between Paul and Romney, one Romney is likely to win even though he has not yet personally visited the state in this presidential race."

4:00 p.m. PT: CNN exit polls suggest that Romney will win with more than 50% of the vote. But can he top 55%? 

As we await official results, only questions: Mitt north of 55%? Paul over Newt? Turnout > 44K? Newt gets out? Dems overreact? #nvcaucus

— Jon Ralston (@RalstonFlash) February 4, 2012

3:49 p.m. PT: All four presidential candidates will make appearances on the Sunday morning political talk shows tomorrow. Here's a rundown:  

  •  Newt Gingrich will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation." 
  • Rick Santorum is on “Fox News Sunday." 
  •  Ron Paul will be on ABC’s “This Week.”  
  • Mitt Romney will be featured on Telemundo’s “Enfoque.”

3:46 p.m. PT: Ron Paul is currently speaking to a crowd of his supporters at a rally in Arden Hills, Minn. Said Paul: The "Revolution" has come to Minnesota.

3:44 p.m. PT: With 3% of the precincts reporting, according to CNN, Romney is still winning handily with 52% of the vote. Ron Paul is second with 20%, Newt is third with 19%, and Rick Santorum is still last with 9%.

3:42 p.m. PT: The Nevada caucus results are being driven by conservative voters, according to the Associated Press. From the AP: "Conservatives accounted for around 4 in 5 voters as Nevada Republicans chose their presidential candidate on Saturday, polls of people entering the caucuses showed, tying Iowa as the most conservative group of GOP voters so far this year."

3:40 p.m. PT: Rick Santorum, who didn't expect to do well in Nevada, is campaigning today in Colorado instead. Colorado is one of three states - Minnesota and Missouri are the other two - that will hold it's primary this coming Tuesday, February. 7.

3:36 p.m. PT: Ashley Powers, LA Times journalist who was kicked out of caucus voting and called "a spy" in unfriendly GOP territory, tweets today:

Guess what #precinct1721? U didn't let me back in & I still know how u voted. Mitt 60, Newt 42, Paul 8, Rick 8. Maybe I am a spy. #nvcaucus

— Ashley Powers (@ashleypowers) February 4, 2012


3:32 p.m. PT: Turnout in Washoe County, Nevada's second-biggest county, which includes Reno, was way down from 2008, according to Reno Gazette-Journal reporter Brian Dugan:

Washoe Republican #nvcaucus turnout: ~6,700 voters, down from 11,000-14,000 in 2008. County party chair says voters want state-run primary.

— Brian Duggan (@brianduggan) February 4, 2012

3:28 p.m. PT: For a full overview of CNN's entrance poll results, click here.

3:24 p.m. PT: The Gingrich campaign reportedly met with a group of roughly 60 donors today, including billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

3:22 p.m. PT: More entrance poll results from CNN:

  • 57% (6 in 10) of caucus voters made up their mind before January
  • among voters who wanted a candidate specifically to defeat obama, 74%  (3 out of 4) voted for Romney.
  • Paul is getting 45% of vote from people looking for true conservative, while Gingrich is getting 31%.

3:19 p.m. PT: According to CNN, Romney has taken an early lead: Romney has 54% so far, Ron Paul is in second at 19%, Gingrich is third at 18% and Santorum is last with 9%.

3:14 p.m. PT: Ron Paul will be speaking soon to a crowd of supporters in Minnesota.

3:12 p.m. PT: Some entrance polls results from CNN:

People who described themselves as very conservative voted for:
  • Romney: 51%
  • Gingrich 24%
Voters by gender:
  • 53% Men
  • 47 % Women
Ron Paul may be expanding voter base:
  • 50-64 year olds were the biggest base that came out and voted for him in the Nevada caucuses.
Most important issue in Nevada?
  • 54% of people said economy (biggest issue in NV)
Most important candidate quality:
  • 44% of voters said "Can Defeat Obama"

3:08 p.m. PT: Instead of the traditional victory party, Newt Gingrich is holding a press conference later tonight at 8 p.m. PT instead. The former House Speaker had no public events planned today except for the press conference, which led to speculation about the future of his campaign. However, Gingrich's campaign sought to defuse any chatter that he would be dropping out, releasing his campaign schedule for next week. Ginrich will be making stops in Colorado, Minnesota and Ohio, before heading to the CPAC Conference next weekend in Washington, D.C.

NV entrance polls show bigger percent of electorate is Mormon (26%) than Evangelical (23%)

— amy walter (@amyewalter) February 4, 2012

2:59 p.m. PT: Just over 2 hours until full results start coming in.

Most important issues to #nvcaucus goers:economy (54%) then budget deficit (33%), says CNN site polling.immigration only 5 percent.

— Steve Tetreault (@STetreaultDC) February 4, 2012

2:45 p.m. PT: Results are already the Las Vegas precinct caucusing at Becker Middle School. According to CNN, Romney won precinct with 3807 with 38 votes, while Ron Paul finished second with 8 votes. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum tied for third place with three votes apiece.


Nevada GOP Caucus Breakdown

Mitt Romney Ready To Win Nevada

Looking Ahead To The Nevada Caucus

Tracy Bloom, Laura Walsh, Aaron Fischman, Daniel Rothberg and Agnus Dei Farrant all contributed to his report.



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