Poll has Romney hitting 50 percent in Nevada caucuses


Mitt Romney is heading for a big victory in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, a second poll confirms.

Romney "is winning with virtually every demographic group we track," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. "The main suspense looks like it will be whether he can crack the 50 percent mark."

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, finds Romney at 50 percent, ahead of Newt Gingrich with 25 percent.  Ron Paul clocks in with 15 percent support, while Rick Santorum has 8 percent backing.

The poll contains double-bad news for Gingrich.  Not only does it look like he will he lose convincingly but also his campaign may be heading into another slump, the numbers suggested.

"Nevada Republicans actively dislike him, with only 41 percent holding a favorable opinion and 49 percent with a negative one,"  according to the PPP analysis. A report this week indicated Gingrich's campaign was in disarray over how much energy he should expend in the Silver State.

Paul has a chance to build on his showing if he can turn out his base of younger supporters, but probably not enough to overtake Gingrich,  according to the poll.

As for Santorum, people seem to like him — his favorability rating was at 64 percent.  "But it's just not translating into much support for him," according to the surveyors.

The poll breakdown is here.

The analysis is here.

A poll by the Review-Journal and 8 NewsNow that was released on Thursday showed Romney with 45 percent support among likely caucus-goers.   Gingrich was at 25 percent.

"If Romney gets 50 percent, it means conservatives are finally coalescing around him," UNLV professor David Damore told the newspaper.