It's not just the national media that's lethargic about the Nevada presidential caucuses.
Sure, the unions are enjoying their role as the sweethearts of the Democratic presidential candidates with so many suitors wooing. And there's no doubt the unions will get their members out to the caucus. Membership turnout is one of the things local unions do best.
But when I asked nonunion people if they plan to attend the caucuses next January, few say yes.
Part of that is the caucus process is really unfamiliar to many Nevadans. Another part is that the idea of going to public meetings and arguing over which presidential candidate they like makes many people uneasy. They prefer the secret ballot to the open discussion.
At a luncheon speech recently before the Las Vegas Towne Club, out of about 90 women present, when I asked for a show of hands from those who planned to attend either the Democratic or Republican caucuses next January, only about 15 raised their hands.
Even though the print news media in Nevada has covered the upcoming caucuses, and public television, starting Oct. 19, is devoting a weekly program called "Caucus Countdown" to explaining the caucus process, many people say they just aren't quite sure how they work.
Two active Democrats, asked whether they'd attend the caucus, said the same thing: "I'll go if I'm invited."
But the caucuses aren't an invitation-only event. Any Democrat can attend the Democratic caucus; any Republican can attend the Republican caucus. There's no VIP line to get in.
Here's my prediction: The turnout for both caucuses will be dismal, however you want to define dismal. The Republican caucus will be more dismal than the Democrats. The unions will get their members to the Democratic caucuses and so the caucuses will be weighted toward union issues and won't necessarily reflect a broader range of views.
Nevada will be a blip on the national news, with Democrats probably supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton, if early indications are any sign. But does that mean the state really supports the former first lady's bid, or will it mean her campaign is the best organized and has nabbed the support from the state's most powerful unions? Not sure yet who Nevada Republicans will back.
If just regular folks don't attend and argue for their choice, then it's not an honest view of Nevada this first time we get to have an early voice in the choosing of a president.
For those who don't care about politics, that's no sweat.
But I'm talking to people who do care about politics, and many say they have no plans to attend their caucus, even though they may have a candidate they like. It's the other guy's job.
But as I told the Las Vegas Towne Club, if you care about health care (and who doesn't in today's world) you should find the candidate who you think offers the best solutions and back that person, no matter what your party affiliation.
Aside from the unions and party faithful, the strongest organizational effort may be from AARP, which has more than 300,000 members in Nevada. The group representing the 50-plus crowd is urging its members to turn out for the caucus of their choice.
AARP's efforts are focused on two issues: health care and Social Security. Under a program called Divided We Fail, AARP is asking candidates for specifics rather than generalities about access to affordable health care and prescription drugs, prevention efforts and choices for long-term care.
The parties, AARP and other groups, including the League of Women Voters, are organizing to educate people about the caucus, and pound why they are important.
But here's my concern: If Nevadans don't bother to vote in the actual elections, and our turnout is historically low, why would they make any effort to show up for a process they don't quite understand?
With a low turnout for either caucus, Nevada is likely to look indifferent, uneducated and passive in our voters' reactions to the caucuses. Just another opportunity for the national media to sneer at us. And we make it so easy for them.
Unless you prove me wrong.
Jane Ann Morrison's column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0275.