Trump on Nevada Caucus: 'Strange Things Happen Here'
Oh, and he'd like to punch a protester in the face
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2016 5:15 AM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2016 6:31 AM CST
Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Reno Ballroom.   (AP Photo/Lance Iversen)
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(Newser) – Donald Trump has promised to start acting more presidential, but there wasn't much sign of it at a rally in Nevada Monday night, where he told the crowd ahead of Tuesday's caucus that he would like to punch a protester in the face. "He's smiling, having a good time," Trump complained as a heckler he described as "nasty as hell" was hauled out of the Las Vegas rally, CNN reports. "You know what they used to do with guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks," said Trump. At the rally, Trump denounced Ted Cruz as "sick" and a liar, the Guardian reports. "This guy Cruz has lied more than any human being. He holds up the Bible, and he lies," Trump said, complaining about a Cruz ad accusing him of siding with the federal government in land disputes.

Nevada holds its Republican caucus Tuesday evening, and Trump has a commanding lead in the polls with support of around 40%. "This is the perfect state for Trump," a top Nevada conservative tells Politico. "Being a flashy billionaire with ties to gaming is a positive here." Analysts say the real contest to watch will be the race for second between Cruz and Marco Rubio, though with an expected turnout of just 40,000 voters and little data to go on, the state could still provide surprises. (Indeed, Slate shares an "anything can happen" view here.) Trump himself seems prepared for that. "A lot of strange things happen here," he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, per Politico, adding that the caucus is "sort of a dangerous system." The New York Times notes that Nevada has been holding early presidential votes only since 2008, and GOP caucus voters picked Mitt Romney that year and in 2012. (Trump fits almost seamlessly into Game of Thrones.)