With Hillary claiming victory on the Democratic side, all eyes are on the latest 2016 Nevada Republican caucus polls.
In a race where every GOP primary counts now, Donald Trump is, once again, coming in with a huge lead in Nevada Republican caucus polls. The most recent of predictions were released last Sunday, one through CNN and the other by pollster Gravis.
In both polls, Donald shot up significantly compared to the last time Nevada Republicans were asked about who they might vote for in the caucus. In the CNN survey, Trump made a 7 percent gain between October and last week, up to 45 from 38 percent. That puts him a massive 28 percent ahead of his closest rival.
His Nevada Republican primary competitors Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, however, made even larger strides. Ted jumped from 4 to 17 percent and Marco from 7 to 19 percent. Those quadrupled numbers likely come from briefly popular candidates like Carly Fiorina dropping out and a crash in support for Ben Carson, who dropped from 22 to 7 percent between the two polls. Still, those aren’t exactly strong stats to be walking into caucus day with on Tuesday.
The other leading GOP caucus poll from Gravis presents a slightly more equal picture, though it is one that’s still favorable to Donald. The Republican presidential frontrunner holds 39 percent of the vote, a 16-point lead over Cruz who comes in at 23 percent. Rubio lags behind at 19 percent, but the Florida senator made the largest gain of anyone in the field since the company’s last Nevada poll in December.
The data in this particular poll seems especially pertinent when noting that the same questionnaire also asked about the Democratic primary races. If the counts for those caucuses is any indication, Trump will have no problem carrying away the Republican delegates in Nevada. Gravis called 53 percent for Hillary Clinton and 47 percent for Bernie Sanders — both of which were almost dead-on.
Still, Republicans have expressed their fear that the Nevada caucuses could easily turn into chaos. Voter records were not preserved from 2012, and even if they were, turnout has been historically below 10 percent for the state. That could sink even lower now that the northern part of the state’s Mormon population doesn’t have Mitt Romney to motivate them to drive, up to several hours, to caucus.
Those poll numbers calling for an inevitable Donald caucus victory in Nevada could be easily skewed by that trend. Pete Ernaut, a Republican consultant, told Politico that it was anyone’s guess how everything would go down on Tuesday.
“It’s true, the smartest people just don’t know what’s going to happen here. Our greatest strength is our greatest weakness. Nevada loves to be independent, but that can also get in the way of being organized and coalesced around an important event, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Republican caucus-goers may also have another reason to head to the polls in Nevada. The relatively low-population state is given a hefty boost of importance by featuring so early in the GOP primary; but if they fail to impress this year, they might lose that advantage, says consultant Robert Uithoven.
“If we can’t boost our turnout more than we did in 2008 and 2012, then we’re at a serious risk of losing our early state status. Selfishly, I hope we can have a high enough turnout so we can maintain our spot in the calendar because there’s a lot of speculation that we’re going to lose it.”
Do you believe the latest Nevada Republican 2016 caucus polls, or will a dark horse take the GOP primary?
[Image via Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]