Things to Watch in Nevada Caucuses
Mitt Romney needs a blowout win; can Ron Paul finish second?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2012 8:31 AM CST
Newt Gingrich speaks at a campaign stop in Las Vegas on Friday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney's big lead in the polls in Nevada makes today's caucuses a not-so-thrilling affair, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Washington Post manage to find some things for political junkies to watch:

  • Mitt Romney: Can he beat the 51% mark he got here four years ago? At this point, if he doesn't win in a blowout, it will be spun as a negative.
  • Newt Gingrich: His pal Donald Trump abandoned him in Vegas; now he has to get enough support from conservatives and Tea Partiers to finish second ahead of Ron Paul.
  • Ron Paul: His campaign has worked hard here and would dearly love a second-place finish. Paul hopes to surpass the 14% he got four years ago.
  • Rick Santorum: Another fourth-place finish won't help him make the case that he's the conservative choice over Gingrich. Bad sign: He's already looking ahead to Tuesday's Missouri primary, which is more of a "beauty contest with no delegates," notes the Post.