Nevada caucuses help determine who is presidential

RENO, NV (KOLO) In 2016, Nevada's Democratic caucuses were well-attended. The first large-scale event was in 2008, so there is not a long history.

Nevertheless this state can still call itself a player on the presidential stage during the primary and caucus season.

“The reality is that Senator Harry Reid is the architect of this and was successful in positioning Nevada, based on a two-pronged argument,” says Fred Lokken, a political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College. “Having an early western state to providing a sense of national candidacy, and the notion of Nevada as a 21st century state. That represents a cross section of America in all of its shapes, forms, colors, creeds and beliefs,” says Lokken.

Lokken says the Silver State's caucus is third in line, and this coming year during the Democratic caucus, the contest will easily make or break a candidate.

For those who do well, there will be momentum into South Carolina to get an idea of how those candidates will fare in the south, while here, candidates will get a good idea of how they are perceived by minorities, women, unions and rural voters.

Lokken says this state is also known as fertile ground as far as campaign donations go.

“We are a large player, probably one of the top five states for campaign money,” he says.

Finances will become even more crucial the closer the Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada contests become. Many candidates will throw in the towel by the time the Nevada caucus happens, if not sooner. A clear front-runner will show him or herself, though, after Super Tuesday in March 2020.

The Nevada Republican caucus occurs February 23, the day after the Democratic caucus.

The field will not be as crowded, obviously; however, it’s a chance for Nevada Republicans to throw their support behind the President.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019