Far be it from me to pretend to understand the mentality of the typical Republican base-voter, but even if Mormons make up 25% of the Nevadan GOP caucus vote, that’s still not enough to carry the day for Mitt Romney. First, he has to compete with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman for those Mormon votes. Second, three-quarters of the caucus-goers are not Mormons. Third, Romney has to deal with the fact that the number one issue in the Republican nominating contest is going to be repealing Obama’s socialist/Nazi/totalitarian health care bill that was modeled on the RomneyCare bill he signed into law when he was the governor of Massachusetts.
Romney might win the caucuses there, but he also might collapse in true Rudy Guiliani style.
More interesting, perhaps, will be the second most important issue in the Nevada caucuses, which will almost definitely be the massive immigration of Latinos over the past ten years.
Immigration, too, is a hot issue in Nevada, where, according to the 2010 Census, more than one in four residents are Hispanic — an 82 percent increase over the 2000 Census in the state. It’s also expected to be a swing state in the 2012 general election.
In other words, there are more than twice as many Latinos in Nevada as there are Mormons, and there are an equal number of (potential) Latino voters in the general electorate as there are Mormon voters in the Republican electorate.
What does this mean? It means that the Republicans will spend their time leading up to the Nevada caucuses dueling each other to be the most racially intolerant assholes possible. This will enable them to capture the angst white Republicans are feeling about all the Latino immigration, but it will mean that Nevada won’t turn out to be a swing-state after all.