Presidential candidates vie for the Western vote

By Paige Blankenbuehler | February 24, 2016

Reports from last night’s Nevada Republican caucus paint a chaotic picture: a flood of voters overwhelmed the number of ballots on hand, and the ballots themselves were littered with long-gone candidates like Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul. Confused caucus volunteers donned Donald Trump pins and fielded complaints from thousands of unexpected voters, as nearly 75,000 caucus-goers showed up across the state to cast their ballots.

This year, the Republican caucus attendance saw a huge spike. In 2008, Nevada’s first year as a caucus state, fewer than 45,000 voters participated in the GOP caucus. According to the Nevada Secretary of State, there are more than 423,000 active registered Republicans, compared to more than 470,000 active Democratic voters. Meanwhile, the Democratic caucus last week was quiet and smooth; 84,000 active voters showed up and about 12,000 delegate votes were submitted.

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