Two polls released Thursday confirm a double digit lead for Mitt Romney in Nevada heading into Saturday’s caucus.
Public Policy Polling found Romney leading by “15 to 20 points” in the state after one night of polling, according to the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston. A poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8 News Now has Romney at 45 percent, while Newt Gingrich trails at 25 percent. Rick Santorum is in third at 11 percent, and Ron Paul is fourth at 9 percent.
According to the Review-Journal poll, Romney benefits, among other things, from a large Mormon population in the state, 85.5 percent of whom say they plan to support him Saturday. The Review-Journal reported that Mormons are only 7 percent of the state population, but that in 2008, they constituted 25 percent of caucusgoers. Romney also leads among all other religious groups.
Those who “strongly support” the tea party break for Newt — 37 percent to Romney’s 27 percent. Santorum gets 20 percent with this group and Paul gets 9 percent.
Polls do not account for organization, however — a crucial factor in a caucus state where what matters more than anything is getting your supporters to the caucuses. Romney and Paul have the strongest organizations in the state. Gingrich and Santorum staffed up only in the past few weeks.