Parties don’t regret hours spent in caucus building

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if tens of thousands of people do not show up at the Democratic and Republican caucuses on Jan. 19, the parties will have failed.

But why?

While the Nevada Democratic Party and the Nevada Republican Party have taken on substantial responsibility for raising awareness and encouraging participation in the first-time event among their partisans, it’s not really their job.

In Iowa, the state whose caucuses are the near-exact template for Nevada’s, the turnout effort falls to the campaigns and interest groups. After all, it’s the candidates and issue advocates who have something at stake.

"In 2004, we did no turnout, no GOTC (get-out-the-caucus) at all," said Jean Hessburg, the Des Moines-based Democratic operative who ran the 2004 Iowa caucuses and now is the director of Nevada’s first-time effort.

"We don’t do turnout in Iowa because the campaigns do turnout, but it has been a 30-year effort in Iowa, and I can’t tell you if in 1976 they did turnout," she said of Iowa’s first time. "In Nevada, we knew we were going to put a chunk of money in the budget for turnout, but we at the Democratic Party shouldn’t do 100 percent of the turnout and we won’t do 100 percent of the turnout."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., last week said he expected 100,000 Democrats to caucus, a number the party locally had been distancing itself from. Reid’s comments prompted another round of doubts about whether the Nevada Democratic Party could meet what is seen as an unrealistic target.

The parties certainly can help, and in Nevada they probably want to take a more active role because it is the state’s first early caucus, said Jennifer Duffy, analyst for the Washington-based Cook Political Report. But "these guys are getting unnecessarily set up," she said, with all the responsibility for caucus turnout.

"It is up to the campaigns," she said. "That’s exactly who does it in Iowa. That’s who should do it. The whole purpose of the caucus is for campaigns to get as many people there as they can to support their cause."

Both parties have been sweeping the state conducting "mock caucuses" to show their partisans how it’s done, and both plan to do mass mailings as well. Democrats and Republicans have collaborated on an on-demand cable segment about the caucuses.

But party leaders continually face questions about whether they’re doing enough. "People seem to forget that campaigns drive turnout," said GOP Executive Director Zac Moyle.

"It’s really up to the campaigns to get people there (to the caucuses)," he said. "We know our grass-roots base is going to turn out, the 2,000 to 5,000 people who do it every year. But beyond that, the campaigns have to go out and find people and turn them out if they want to win."


Elko’s the kind of small town where you know your neighbors. Nobody’s too far apart. And that applies especially to political campaigns.

Last week, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards became the latest candidates to open campaign offices in the northeastern mining burg of 18,000, where everyone wears cowboy boots and even the brothels are picturesque. They joined Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, giving Elko a whopping four presidential campaign offices, all belonging to Democrats.

Chances the four campaigns will be able to avoid each other are slim: Edwards moved into the same building as Richardson, and Clinton took an office next door to Obama’s and around the corner from the other two.

"The Edwards people just signed the lease, and from what I understand, they’ll be one floor below us," said Lance Whitney, a former chair of the Elko County Democratic Party who is working for the Richardson campaign.

"We’re in the historic Henderson Bank building. It has marble floors — it’s gorgeous," he said. "Our corner office on the second floor overlooks the whole city." That ought to make Las Vegas campaign workers, in their sterile, mostly windowless office-park suites, envious.

Whitney said he tweaked a friend who works for Obama when the Clinton campaign moved in next door. "So it’s sort of poetic justice" that Whitney now is getting another campaign for a neighbor.

The presence of so many Democratic campaigns upsets some Elkoans who are "trying to hang on to their Republican roots," but Whitney said that number is dwindling.

"I run into Republicans here all the time asking me how they can change their party registration," said Whitney, who grew up in Elko. "There isn’t a single Republican campaign here. It’s signaling to them who values their vote."


If the Nevada caucuses were held today, the 2008 election would be a Subway Series, and it would probably go seven games, according to a poll commissioned by CNN to coincide with last week’s debate.

Nevada Democrats would choose Clinton, while Republicans would choose former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, according to the Opinion Research Corp. telephone survey of 389 likely Democratic caucus-goers and 304 likely Republican caucus-goers, conducted Nov. 9-13.

Clinton ran away with the Democrats, drawing 51 percent in the poll that carried a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Obama trailed with 23 percent, while Edwards had 11 percent.

The Republican side was closer: Giuliani 29 percent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 21, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson 14, Arizona Sen. John McCain 12.

No other candidates on either side topped 10 percent, although Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who has recently ramped up organizing in the state, came close with 8 percent.

Democrats liked Clinton primarily because they saw her as most electable: 63 percent believed that was the case. She was also the leading candidate in questions about leadership, qualification, ability to bring change, having clear positions, forthrightness, likability and honesty.

The latter was her weakest category, with only 37 percent saying Clinton was the most honest. Obama had 24 percent, Edwards 13 percent.

Similarly, Giuliani did best on the electability question. He was also the leading candidate in all the other categories except honesty, where Romney beat him.

In hypothetical general election matchups, Giuliani edged Clinton in a statistical dead heat, 47 percent to 46 percent, while Clinton beat Romney 51 percent to 42 percent.

Sixty percent of all likely caucus-goers believe the early contest will be good for Nevada, while 37 percent say it won’t make a difference. Democrats were more bullish on the caucus than Republicans. Fifty-six percent overall said they understood the caucus rules very or fairly well, with 43 percent confused and similar percentages in both parties.

Three-quarters of those surveyed opposed driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Among Democrats, two-thirds were opposed to such a proposal, while among Republicans, it was 85 percent.

The survey was of 2,084 adults. Of those, 389, or 19 percent, were likely to participate in the Democratic caucus; 304, or 15 percent, would likely participate in the Republican caucus.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@ or (702) 387-2919.

2 in custody after chase
Two people were in custody after a chase involving Nevada Highway Patrol and Nye County Sheriff"s office deputies ended in southwest Las Vegas. Las Vegas police blocked off Rainbow Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement personnel prepared to tow a black sedan as part of their investigation. It's not certain what precipitated the chase or where and when it started. Check back for updates.
Police Officer's Vehicle Was Taken During Shooting
Video from body worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday shows an officer realizing his police vehicle has been taken during the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. It was later recovered at Sunrise hospital with the keys in the ignition and nothing removed. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
See Kitty Hawk’s flying car cruise over Lake Las Vegas
Kitty Hawk takes their flying car for a ride in the company’s hidden test facility in Lake Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Las Vegas police wild pursuit through busy Las Vegas streets
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Man shot strolling through park
A man was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after being shot while walking in a central Las Vegas park. Las Vegas police say the man and a woman were in Molasky Park just after midnight when the man was shot. The pair ran to a nearby supermarket where a security guard called for help. The man was hospitalized and as of 3 a.m. was in stable condition. Police have yet to identify the shooter and no suspects are in custody.
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
UNLV professor cautions dangers of distracted walking
An alarming number of adults do not cross the street safely according to a study conducted by professor Tim Bungum of the School of Community Health Sciences at the UNLV. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas-Review Journal) @brokejournalist
Car left in remote desert 21 years is recovered for late owner's children
Showboat casino blackjack dealer Mark Blackburn died outside of White Hills, Ariz. 21 years ago. His 1980 Datsun B310 wagon remained in the remote desert until a network of volunteers recovered the car for his children. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resort on Mount Charleston Sold for $4.8 million
North Carolina couple and hoteliers Deanna and Colin Crossman have purchased the Resort on Mount Charleston for $4.8 million. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like