Voters in Nevada will caucus on Jan. 19. President Bush carried the state twice, but Democrats think that next year things might be different. It will be the first time Nevada will be one of the early states. It is quiet on the Republican front though as candidates have made few visits and lack offices there.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, argued that Democrats in his state are more like the party's voters nationwide than the voters are in Iowa or New Hampshire.
For example, minorities make up more than 30 percent of the population in Nevada, and 15 percent of workers belong to unions.
The Democratic frontrunners have been to Nevada a dozen times or more, opened three or four campaign offices, and hired 30 to 40 paid staffers. And the state party is trying to drum up excitement for a complicated event that used to be ignored by everyone except the hard core.
But Nevada's Republicans chose not to join the Democrats on Jan. 19. Until a few weeks ago, Republican candidates have made few visits to the state and most have no campaign offices and no paid staff in the state.
Still, President Bush won Nevada twice — though by narrow margins.