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Nevada GOP Sees Boost In Caucus-Goers

Donald Trump dominated Nevada's GOP caucus Tuesday night, as expected, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz trailing behind him and duking it out for a distant second place. The state GOP saw a big boost in voter turnout, including the crowd at Reed High in Sparks. Our News Director Michelle Billman was there and has this story.

Eager voters shivered in the long line last night at Reed High, some couples bundled together with blankets. First-time voter Kenna White told me she was leaning toward Trump.

"I like Trump because, you know, his big thing is not being politically correct, and he just does what he thinks and what he feels," White explained. "And I feel that he's very honest and that most of his things when he's talking are not rehearsed, not coached, and I like that he's very organic in what he has to say."

Not far away, Larry Nichols was holding a sign and sporting a button for Marco Rubio. He says Rubio will be more viable in the general election than Trump.

"I worry that a section of the Republican electorate has gotten to such a point of frustration that, really, what they're doing is throwing up their hands and saying, 'It's all over; I don't care,' and they don't believe in constructive solutions anymore," Nichols said. "And I think it's very important for us to to still believe in the future, to believe in constructive solutions. I'm very worried that Donald Trump won't be able to do that as the Republican nominee."

Voters at Reed High also got a surprise visit from Ted Cruz, who doled out ample hugs and handshakes, including one to Jon Catalano.

"[I'm a] just retired SWAT team commander with Reno Police; you've got a lot of cops on your side."

"Thank you for serving," Cruz said, "and listen, the treatment of cops the last seven years, that's going to change. It has been disgraceful here."
 
After taking a selfie with the candidate, Catalano told me that Cruz has his vote.
 
The Republicans will face off next week on Super Tuesday when they'll compete in several states.

 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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