My Take on the Nevada Caucus of 2012


Written By:  Gary Hardee
Date: 2/5/2012

On the subject of disclosure, which I think a matter of honest journalism, it should be known that I am biased, but in what way?  I am a free man and make decisions on fact more than opinion.  My conclusions are mine and mine alone and are subject to change when new facts are revealed.  Honesty is still a virtue and wisdom the prize. Silence is not “golden”, it’s “yellow”.

The Nevada caucus held on Saturday, February 4, 2012 has concluded. To any reasonable observer, there were problems with timely reporting from the start. Media did not rely on actual tallies but entrance and exit poling to call the night.  It took a day and a half to render the “official” outcome. Many recounts occurred with different results. So to me there is a healthy rational for suspicion. At the time of this writing, only 71% of the vote has been reported. From this figure, doing a little math, I have put together the following “final” outcome. Unless the remaining 29% holds a grossly different pattern than the 71% reported, consider this a “projected” outcome that should be close enough for my purposes.

Let’s start with a few of tables. First, that of the 2012 caucus so far, the second is that of my projected results and third are actual results of the 2008 caucus.

The first thing that becomes readily clear is that the turnout this year is significantly below that of 2008.  In fact a 27.8% drop from 2008! You would think that with all the anti-Obama fever predictably pumped by the GOP, coupled with the state of  jobs and the economy, the seeming opposition to Obamacare and Obams’s failure to fulfill his “Hope and Change” promises, we would have seen a much greater turnout than in 2008.

Results for Nevada Republican Caucus – 2012
71% Reporting (U.S.Presidential Primary)
Feb 04, 2012 (71% of precincts reporting) Source: AP
Mitt Romney

11,822

47.6%

Newt Gingrich

5,623

22.7%

Ron Paul

4,619

18.6%

Rick Santorum

2,749

11.1%

Current Total

21,843

Projected Results for Nevada Republican Caucus – 2012(U.S.Presidential Primary)
Feb 4, 2012 ( when 100% of precincts do report )

2012

%

2008

%

Change

Mitt Romney

15,250

47.64%

22,649

51.10 %

-3.40 %

Newt Gingrich

7,254

22.66%

-1.37 %

Ron Paul

5,959

18.61%

6,087

13.73 %

+35.5 %

Rick Santorum

3,546

11.07%

-1.37 %

Total

32,009

44,324

-27.8 %

Results for Nevada Republican Caucus – 2008100% Reporting (U.S.Presidential Primary)
Jan 19, 2008 (100% of precincts reporting)
Mitt Romney

22,649

51.10%

Ron Paul

6,087

13.73%

John McCain

5,651

12.75%

Mike Huckabee

3,616

8.16%

Fred Thompson

3,521

7.94%

Rudy Giuliani

1,910

4.31%

Duncan Hunter

890

2.01%

Total

44,324

It seems that either there is little enthusiasm over the current Republican field among GOP primary voters or perhaps an “I don’t care who wins the nomination, I will just vote against Obama in November” attitude. Perhaps there is a little “hopelessness” within the ranks of the GOP voter base that thinks it is futile to attempt to defeat Obama. Either way, the numbers do raise some very serious concerns about the 2012 race for the GOP and a dilemma for the establishment neo-con king-makers behind the scenes.

This lackluster enthusiasm and reduced voter turnout presents an opening for “establishment challenger” Ron Paul, provided his base will get out and vote! As reflected in the Nevada caucus, this did not happen to the degree that Paul’s support quintupled in South Carolina from 2008 to 2012. This increase in percentage may be reflected more in primary states than in caucus states if these result trends continue. It is highly suspicious however that Paul’s vote total increased some 220% over 2008 yet could barely get the same totals as 2008 in Nevada this year.  We’ll see what happens in Maine.

With the nearly 28% drop in Nevada caucus participation over 2008 comes some very interesting insights regarding Romney’s base and the confusion over who the “conservative” Republican may support between Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Lest you think the Republican Party devotees and active participants have an exclusive on being internally divided, the Democratic Party has is factions too! The major media, dominated by Democrat/liberal influences paints a picture of Democratic “unity” but it too is far from being unified. There is significant internal division and hand-ringing over Obama. His absentee leadership and his hyper-liberal agenda will likely drive defections from their base in November. These may land on a more “centrist” GOP candidate if they feel Obama’s replacement is greatly needed.

With the rising tide of opposition to big government intrusions into our civil liberties, grossly unconstitutional government, a debt crisis, a deficit crisis from over spending, gargantuan crony capitalism problem, routinely undeclared wars and the deaths of our soldiers for no real benefits, secrecy of the Federal Reserve and the inability of our officials to demand at least a complete audit from its inception just to name a few, is it any wonder that change again is in the air?

There is a real shakeup about to happen and the Insiders of both parties and the power brokers in the think-tanks and foundations influencing them have a real battle on their hands. That battle? Keeping an alternative, non-establishment candidate from winning the Presidency. It would be the best thing for the people but make no mistake about this being their total focus! From their perspective it is “preserve and protect” – their existing state of affairs.

Returning to the numbers, given the drop in percentage over 2008, Ron Paul faired better than the other three. Combining all the vote totals of the other three there is an overall reduction of 32% to Ron Paul’s reduction of 2.8% from 2008. Just looking at the table above you can see that Paul increased his vote percentage over 2008 by 35.5% as compared to Romney’s drop of 3.4% over 2008. Assuming for the sake of argument that all the votes in 2008 not cast for Romney or Paul went to a “Gingrich/Santorum” candidate this year, the result would be a reduction of 1.37% over 2008. This clearly indicates that 4.77% went to Paul in varying degrees from those who are now supporters of Dr. Paul since his actual vote total was less than in 2008.

This reality should give encouragement to those who see Ron Paul as the truly rising candidate in both popularity and activist support against the other increasingly perceived status quo candidates. But will it be enough?

The challenge, at least within its GOP Division, is how to sweep Ron Paul to the “side” without appearing too obvious to the masses.  The growing support for Ron Paul must be matched or exceeded for the other candidates in each succeeding state contest.  Money and enthusiasm must continue or increase for Dr. Paul while executing and even better ground game and GOTV effort.

The status quo “trio” will remain on stage for a while. If for no other reason than to keep Ron Paul’s input in the “debates” to a minimum while presenting a mostly circus type atmosphere dominated by the “trio”.  As support shifts and money dries up or the establishment applies pressure, one will drop-out and endorse one of the other in the “trio”, but not Dr. Paul. This is the way the game is played on an unsuspecting public and the GOP voter base in particular. The dropping candidate, to preserve his political future, will do so in the event that Ron Paul comes in second in two major states. This will push Paul back to third in future states and give the impression that he is a “loser” or it will be done in order to get more delegates for the remaining “duo”.

At this point, unless Newt self-destructs in some horrible way, I would say that Santorum will be the next to drop but that isn’t likely until after Super Tuesday or he runs out of money or he gets “the word” from above.

The historical “king-makers” that have routinely managed to get their puppets on the ballots for both parties in the general election absolutely must minimize any possibility of a significant return to a federal government that operates under the constraints of the Constitution of the United States! This and this alone, is what we are seeing playing out before our very eyes.

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