On Saturday, Nevada polls will open their doors to voters for the GOP primary. A new poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow reports Mitt Romney will win by taking 45 percent of the vote with Newt Gingrich winning only 25 percent. The poll predicts Rick Santorum will take 11 percent of the vote, while Ron Paul will garner a scant 9 percent. Gallup’s numbers vary a bit with Romney at 31 percent, Gingrich at 26 percent, Santorum with 17 percent, and Paul with 14 percent.
The news media will call a winner shortly after the polls close and then the pundits will tell us all why certain groups of people voted the way they did. The excitement in Nevada will subside for a while and the media will move on to other states for the next round of voting in other states.
On February 7, the Democrats in Minnesota will hold their precinct caucuses and Missouri will hold their primary. The latest statistics, taken on January 31, by Public Policy Polling (PPP), call a victory for Gingrich Missouri with 30 percent and a second place showing for Santorum with 28 percent of the vote. Romney will come in a close third with 24 percent and Paul will take up the rear with 11 percent of the vote.
As the GOP race grows ever more interesting, Colorado will call voters to the polls for its precinct caucuses as well. Minnesota will do the same for its non-binding straw poll and Missouri will hold its non-binding primary. In Minnesota, another PPP poll has Gingrich with 36 percent, Romney with a distant 18, Santorum with a close 17, and Paul with 13 percent. Over the weekend, PPP plans to poll Colorado and Minnesota.
In each of these and other polls, Paul, who consistently comes in third or fourth, does well in a match up in a general election against Barack Obama. Although they never award Paul the victory, he usually comes within a few percentage points of the president. For example, PPP calls it a 45 to 43 percent contest with Obama winning by a margin of only 2 percent. Rasmussen reports nearly the same with 45 to 42 percent. In Ohio, PPP gives Obama a 48 to 38 percent victory. And Gallup gives Obama a 49 to 46 percent win.