Republican Party in Nevada Might Change Rules, In a Way Imagined to Harm Rand Paul's Chances

But Nevada being a caucus instead of a primary didn't really end up doing Ron Paul that much good.


Washington Post reports on GOP machinations in Nevada that seem designed to hobble Rand Paul in that early state:

the Ron Paul supporters who basically took over the state party in 2012 have largely been replaced, and now, the state GOP is moving toward replacing the Paul-friendly caucus process with a regular primary…..

Caucuses favor candidates with more devoted supporters and tend to draw from a smaller pool of voters, allowing for someone with more of a niche base to be more competitive…..

The Post goes on to discuss how libertarian-leaning Nevada is understood to be (though it doesn't mention that Ron Paul grossly underperformed his campaign's expectations in 2012) and its importance in setting the field as an early state.

But I'm not sure a switch to a primary system will make that much difference in the end result for Rand. As far as momentum goes, media reports the mass caucus popular vote on the day of voting and pretty much ignores what happens at the later convention–for example, no one understood that Ron Paul "won Iowa" until months later, so he got no frontrunner advantage from it. (Won in the sense that the vast majority of the actual convention delegation was for him.)

That Nevada was a caucus rather than primary state technically didn't end up mattering much in terms of helping Ron Paul last time except for a small circus on the Tampa convention floor, as the state interpreted the rules to mean that their delegates had to vote in accord with the mass caucus vote, which favored Romney. Regardless, many of the Paul-loving Nevada delegates tried to cast their votes from the floor for Paul, and were pretty much ignored. And in 2008, the party more or less shut down its own convention to prevent a Paul takeover.

Some old clips explaining Paul's caucus/delegate strategy with a focus on Nevada toward the end, when he actually won Nevada in 2012, delegate-wise, the sadder end result of all his delegate battles, and from early 2013 when his  influence on the Nevada party seemed like it might have more legs.