Speed Reads

2016 Nevada GOP caucus

Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz could crush Donald Trump in Nevada with just 20,000 voters

Donald Trump is widely expected to win Nevada's Republican caucus on Tuesday, even though he's a little fuzzy on the rules. "What the hell is caucus?" he asked an estimated 8,000 supporters at a rally in Las Vegas on Monday night. "Nobody even knows what it means." And nobody really has any idea who will turn up to vote, thanks to sparse polling, Nevada's unpredictable electorate, and questions over where Jeb Bush's voters will land. Marco Rubio, who lived in Nevada for a spell as a child — when his family briefly converted to Mormonism — has been working to court the organized Mormon and moderate Republican votes, while Ted Cruz has been heavily courting evangelical Christians and people opposed to federal ownership of public lands.

And it wouldn't take many of those voters to push Rubio or Cruz to an upset victory over Trump, says Philip Rucker at The Washington Post. "Just 20,000 voters could be enough for a landslide, operatives here say," meaning that for either candidate, "a win is within reach." Nevada has 434,000 registered Republican voters. So as Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, Rubio's state campaign chairman, said at a Rubio rally Sunday night: "If we get our people out, we’re going to do great. If we don’t get our people out, we're not going to do so great."