Nevada GOP Still Lagging Behind Other Primary/Battleground States

Over the past several presidential cycles Nevada has been trending Democratic. With high unemployment and general dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration, Nevada will once again be a battleground state. The jury is still out on whether the eventual GOP nominee will be able to capture the Silver State. Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun weighs in:

As one Nevada operative put it, the Silver State has emerged as an “ugly stepchild” of sorts in the presidential primary so far, with the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina hogging all spotlight. Nevada is scheduled to hold the third primary contest next year after Iowa and New Hampshire.

Compared with Democrats’ caucuses four years ago, Republicans are far behind in fundraising, voter outreach, campaign visits, staffing and party organization — a signal that the GOP caucuses could be a bust.

Working against Nevada Republicans is the absence of a Harry Reid-like figure drawing national attention and donations to the state, a major factor in Democrats’ success four years ago. They also don’t have a built-in organizing force such as labor unions, which also drove caucus attendance for Democrats four years ago.

And although the party is looking to contract with a firm that has experience organizing the Iowa caucuses, it has yet to hire a caucus director or raise enough money to hire such a firm.

“No one wants to go through another 2008 — where we have no idea what we’re doing and hoping the guy we brought in does, but turns out not to really have the bravado to pull it off,” said one Republican operative who worked the caucuses four years ago.

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