Analysis and reaction to Mitt Romney’s decisive win in the Nevada caucuses

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Mitt Romney decisively won the Nevada GOP caucuses.

AP’s count as of 8:30 a.m. ET (count has come in slower than organizers had suggested): 1,305 of 1,835 precincts (71%) … Romney, 11,822 votes (48%) … Gingrich, 5,623 (23%) … Ron Paul, 4,619 (19%) … Santorum, 2,749 (11%).

Reaction:

Gary Langer’s entrance-poll analysis for ABC: “Romney … easily outpaced Gingrich among evangelicals, 45-29 percent, his best showing by far in this group to date. … While Romney won strong Tea Party supporters by just 9 points, that itself was a major improvement from the previous two GOP contests. He lost this group to Gingrich by 12 points in Florida, and by 27 points in South Carolina.”

Las Vegas Sun: “It would been hard to imagine a more favorable day for Romney: According to various projections, overall turnout for the Nevada GOP caucuses was low, Mormon turnout was high and his ground game was in full force, giving him the endorsement of over half the state’s voting Republicans — as he did four years ago.”

New York Times: “Nevada offers only a sliver of the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, making it more of a symbolic triumph than a practical one. But it gave Mr. Romney an important opportunity to make a more assertive case that the party is finally coming together behind him.”

Washington Post: “As Romney celebrated his third victory in five contests, his rivals vowed to continue fighting. But the upcoming calendar provides those chasing Romney with significant few opportunities for victory in coming weeks. Gingrich and Santorum each would like to take on Romney without the other draining off conservative votes but neither has shown any interest in bowing to the other. Paul demonstrated again in Nevada that he can do well in caucus states with limited turnout but has yet to show real strength in a big state.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.