The Las Vegas Sun has a great primer on what will take place at Nevada’s caucuses Saturday. I’ll be live-blogging here throughout the day.
Here’s where the candidates will be today: Romney has a rally in Colorado Springs at 2:45 MT and a victory party at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas at 7:40 PT. Santorum campaigns in Colorado with stops in Montrose, Loveland and Greeley. Paul spends the day in Minnesota, with town halls in Rochester, Chanhassen and Arden Hills. Gingrich doesn’t have a public schedule today.
6:00 p.m. – Live county-by-county results right here tonight here.
6:00 p.m. – Newt Gingrich’s campaign has announced that it will hold a post-Nevada caucus press conference tonight at 11 p.m. EST at the Venetian in Las Vegas, instead of the traditional speech that candidates usually give after a primary or caucus night.
4:03 p.m. – Gingrich acknowledged Romney’s likely victory and cast the vote in Nevada as a fight for second place. “I think our hope is that we may be able to come in second, although Ron Paul is very organized,” the former House speaker told Fox News in an interview Friday. “We’re going all out to see if we can’t be a good solid second here, and then we’re on to Colorado and Minnesota.”
3:59 p.m. – Charles Mahtesian and Juana Summers on what to watch: “Mitt’s margin: … Romney could take a step toward proving he can win over conservatives by rolling up a big winning margin. … In 2008, Romney managed to win just over half the vote, 51.1 percent. While recent polls have him just below that, breaking the 50 percent barrier for the first time this year would give him some welcome momentum going into Tuesday’s contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. … Newt’s percentage: … [I]f the former House speaker were able to finish in second and win close to, or more than, a third of the vote it would suggest that even at a low point he maintains a reservoir of support among tea party activists and the very conservative – and that there continues to be a determined resistance to Romney.”
10:27 a.m. – Romney has the endorsement of Nevada’s lieutenant governor, eight of 10 state senators and two members of Congress, according to CNN. Gingrich has not been endorsed by a single elected official in Nevada, according to Ginger Gibson.
10:14 a.m. – James Hohmann writes: The weather looks clear around most of Nevada. The sun is just beginning to rise over the mountains. Forecast calls for a high of 58 in Vegas. Here’s the hour-by-hour forecast from Weather Underground here.
10:12 a.m. – Headline on the front of the Las Vegas Sun: “Gingrich Disconnected in Vegas”
10:10 a.m. – According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, per CNN, “Romney has led ad spending in the state since last Friday, funneling $249,220 into 590 spots, 427 of which were negative and 163 of which were positive. ‘Restore Our Future,’ the PAC supporting the former Massachusetts governor’s candidacy, spent an additional $73,240 on 123 negative ads in the state…Paul spent $28,340 on 71 positive spots since last Friday. Paul has spent the most money in the state since January 1 with $869,650 compared to Romney’s $488,460 and ‘Restore Our Future’s’ $73,240. Neither Newt Gingrich nor the super PAC support his candidacy have spent money in the state since the first of the year.”
10:09 a.m. – Remember, there are 28 delegates at stake in Nevada, more than in South Carolina.
9:20 a.m. – Instead of the traditional election night party, Newt Gingrich will hold a press conference after the Nevada caucuses tonight “raising new speculation about his future in the race,” National Journal reports.
7:17 a.m. – There have very few polls for Nevada. Mark Blumenthal says we’re “seeing fewer polls because of constrained budgets”:
National media and polling organizations knew that attention would focus on the first four primary and caucus states in January and spent their money accordingly. A few invested in the expensive task of surveying Iowa’s likely caucus-goers using live interviewers, but in an era when many media organizations have cut back on polling, these upcoming caucus states are simply a lower priority. As with other aspects of campaign coverage, polling in the February caucus states will be no match for what we saw last month.
7:05 a.m. – “I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land.” — Mitt Romney, in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, on whether he would sell land owned by the federal government in Western states.
7:01 a.m. – The Atlantic: “Each county was allowed to set its own caucus procedures this year, leading to a divergent array of start times and rules across the state… The bizarre arrangement leaves the door open to all kinds of campaign hijinks. Party officials say attendees at the evening caucus will have to sign an affidavit swearing that they didn’t already vote earlier, and their names will be checked against the voter rolls.”
7:00 a.m. – First Read: “Frankly, the process is a bit of a joke: The caucus places start and stop at different times throughout the state.”