A QUICK QUIZ: Name the only Nevada county that went to populist GOP candidate Ron Paul over Mitt Romney.
If your first instinct was Nye County — home to Yucca Mountain, a few brothels and surreptitious silver digs by Rick Tabish — you’re right.
When Paul visited Pahrump in November, he drew a standing-room only crowd.
“A good showing here could be just as attention-getting as any single day of fundraising,” he told the audience.
The one-time Libertarian got his good showing, outpolling Romney 34 percent to 33 percent.
Paul, who finished second in the caucus, albeit a distant second, also did well in Storey and Esmeralda counties, coming within six points of Romney in each.
AT ARBOR VIEW HIGH SCHOOL, the battle of the mother-son precinct captains went to mom.
Zack Clayton was a precinct captain for Hillary Clinton and his mother, Linda, was backing Barack Obama.
Clinton may have carried Nevada as a whole, but Linda saw to it that Obama took the most delegates in precinct 3514.
Early on, though, tensions ran high.
A flustered Linda accused Clinton supporters, including her son, of lying to her about where their precinct was supposed to meet. “I totally fell for it,” she said as she walked briskly away.
But when Zack heard that, he just shook his head. “I bought her flowers and everything this morning. I’m trying to mend this thing.”
In the end, Linda and her husband, Barry, were among the four delegates picked to represent Obama at the Clark County Democratic Convention, and Zack was picked as one of two Clinton delegates from the precinct.
Linda seemed much more relaxed after it is was over. “I was nervous going in, but it went great,” she said.
AT PALO VERDE HIGH SCHOOL, a precinct made up of retirees from Sun City Summerlin voted mostly for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but not before sifting through what some considered a confusing process.
As 75-year-old precinct captain Donald Meyer was asking for volunteers to become delegates, several people in the classroom chimed in with questions, adding to the chaos.
“What are the duties of a delegate?” one man asked.
“We’ve got to get names down,” another woman told Meyer.
“Democracy in action, folks!” one woman shouted.
“Cumbersome,” another man grumbled.
When advocates for candidates stood up to make their cases, an appropriate level of complaining followed.
“I don’t think I want a president named ‘Huckabee,'” a supporter of Rudy Giuliani griped.
Romney easily won, gathering 22 of the 45 total votes.
Meyer began reading the final results as the majority of the people kept talking to themselves.
“Five for Ron Paul,” he said.
“What?” a smattering of people asked as the room then grew quiet.
“Five for Ron Paul,” he repeated.
“What? What? What?” a lone woman asked.
“Five for Ron Paul!” everybody shouted.
Hillary Clinton supporter Mike Ginsburg is one of the few Nevadans to participate in both this year’s presidential caucus and the last one in 2004.
The difference between the two was stark, he said. Four years ago, three people, including himself, showed up to his precinct in Henderson.
On Saturday, Ginsburg said there were 137 caucus-goers.
In case you’re wondering, that’s a percentage increase of 4,467.
IF POINTS WERE AWARDED for creative vocabulary, Melvin Carter definitely would have been picked to represent his precinct at the Clark County Democratic Convention.
During his one-minute speech before the vote for delegates, he described George W. Bush as a “dynastic imbecile” who is about to retire to a gated community and get rich off speaking engagements “while the rest of us are Mad Maxing.”
Carter ended up as a convention alternate.
Review-Journal writers Henry Brean, Lawrence Mower, Warren Bates and Francis McCabe contributed to this report. Photos by Sara Tramiel, K.M. Cannon, Jeff Scheid and Marlene Karas.Caucus Day in Nevada slideshow