Romney brings strong organization into Saturday’s caucuses
February 3rd, 2012
08:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney brings strong organization into Saturday’s caucuses

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney is counting on his contacts and organization from his 2008 victory in the Nevada caucuses to help propel him to a victory on Saturday.

He has the endorsement of the lieutenant governor, eight of 10 state senators and two members of Congress and has stayed in contact with other Nevada officials.

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"We built the organization in 2008 and he has been here repeatedly" since then, Ryan Erwin, a Nevada consultant working for the Romney campaign, told CNN.

Even before he announced his bid for his second presidential run, Romney came to the state for several events and has returned several times since helping to make sure voters are familiar with him.

"He has been here as a candidate and as a non-candidate," Erwin said. "We have kept people interested and engaged."

In the last few months the Romney team has ramped up as the voting season got under way. It is being aided by the grassroots organizations of some of its supporters to help guarantee they are not complacent and come out to the caucuses.

"Over the next several hours we've got our traditional GOTV (get out the vote) activities, making calls, and these kind of separate organizations tag-teaming with their own," Erwin said.

Erwin estimated 75% of the precincts in the state will have a Romney chairman to support the effort.

"We're working this until the bell sounds. You have to. You can't take anything for granted," Erwin told CNN.

While Romney has not been saying it on the stump, his campaign and supporters have been hitting rival Newt Gingrich hard in the last week in television ads and in mailers over what they call his past ethical troubles while speaker of the House and his consulting contract with the mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Romney's campaign also has been sending out pamphlets that are positive about its candidate to help burnish his image.

Romney and Ron Paul are both considered to have strong organizations in the state. Both have the resources that have helped them air television commercials although the amount is not near what it has been in some of the previous early voting states.

Paul's supporters are considered by state Republican leaders to be some of the most enthusiastic this year.

"We have been running a traditional effort to rally caucus-goers in Dr. Paul's direction, door to door, phone calls and the like, building on the 2008 campaign's base of support," Paul campaign spokesman Gary Howard told CNN.

Nevada Republican National Committee member Heidi Smith, who has not endorsed a candidate, attended various campaign events this week and told CNN her sense is that Romney and Paul have the strongest infrastructures.

"I think it will be a Romney-Paul event," she said. "Romney probably has the upper hand."

If the turnout is on the lighter side, that could help Paul and he could even come in second place, Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston said Friday on CNN's "John King, USA."

Gingrich, who came in second in a Las Vegas Review-Journal/KLAS poll this week, is seen to have a weaker organization and got a late start.

He is counting on tea party and conservative activists coming out on his behalf. While several tea party leaders are supporting Gingrich, their support is divided.

Tea party favorite Sharron Angle, the Republican senatorial nominee in 2010, endorsed Rick Santorum this week. In that survey among strong Tea Party supporters, 37% said they supported Gingrich, 27% Romney and 20% went for Santorum.

"I don't see any large groups going in any direction. I truly feel the Tea Party has as many variations inside them as the standard people voting in Nevada," Smith said.

Gingrich also is hoping to court the evangelical vote holding a Friday night event with religious leaders who have endorsed him.

"Because I truly believe that America is a nation at a critical juncture, I've invited leaders of all kinds to join us," said Pastor Paul Goulet of the International Church, the largest non-denominational church in the state. "The Speaker will be sharing his heart and give us a chance to ask question at the end of the prayer meeting.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry chose to not side with another candidate after Perry dropped out, which is welcome news to the Romney camp.

"Any candidate's ability to use [Sandoval's endorsement] would have been helpful. Endorsements really matter in a caucus state when there is an organization" to help the candidate, said one Republican operative who asked that his name not be used so he could speak freely. "Anybody would love to have him."

- Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN.

Also see:

Romney on 'poor' comment: I misspoke

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Gingrich to challenge Florida delegates

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Nevada
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. logicnLA

    Is he STILL claiming to be an outsider with all these political contacts and cronies? Hardly!

    February 3, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. Indy

    After six years of running you better have some organization, and it helps to have a butt load of money to buy votes.

    February 3, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Thomas

    We built the organization in 2008 and he has been here repeatedly" since then, Ryan Erwin, a Nevada consultant working for the Romney campaign, told CNN.

    Meet the Mormon Mafia !

    February 3, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. gimmesometruth

    Strong Organization. Yowweee! As good as money can buy. Ooodles of money from Wall Street. Buy the best organization there is, sureeeee.

    February 3, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. gimmesometruth

    Well, more money will buy more campaign people. However, if one were to measure organization in terms of dollars per vote, Romney's organization is the worst in terms of efficiency, and most wasteful in terms of expense.

    February 3, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. cem

    I believe Mitt Romney is the only candidate that has good moral character. He stands for what is right. People need to look at how he has lived his life, and how important his family is to him. He has explained everything that has been thrown at him. Gingrich has avoided explaining things in his life. We need someone who will be honest in all that they do. Gingrich is always very angry every time I see him on tv. We cannot have a president who gets mad very easy.

    February 3, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. westward

    Romney looks about as natural in those jeans and standing with middle class people as Joan Rivers' faces looks really young.

    February 3, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. rw

    romney reminds me of sarah palin.he is unequiped for the job of president of the united states.

    February 3, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. apple pie

    Strong organization? Hmmm, all that's missing is strong character and a little substance.

    February 3, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. Jim Colyer

    Mitt Romney will be our next 8 year president.

    February 3, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. oneamarine

    "When the Republicans stop telling lies about the Democrats, we'll stop telling the truth about them." –Adlai Stevenson

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    F. Lee. Bailey – "Everyone has the right to their own opinions, but NOT their own Facts."

    Martin Luther King – “what we have in this country is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.”

    February 3, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. stanley

    Some one help mitt to see how the poor are people are liveing in augusta GA thank you stanley poor man

    February 3, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. mirrorlogic

    Say NO to R-money...we don't need money and establishment trying to buy our votes! Imagine the match made in heaven:
    R-money the Independent that became a Republican (today at least)...and Trump the Republican that became an Independent (yesterday at least)...what a duo!!!

    February 3, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |

    The Tea Party is being thrown overboard by the backroom party "Establishment". They wanted their heart, but to own their soul. Didn't work that way. Vote Gingrich, or Paul.

    February 3, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. mirrorlogic

    R-money paid his way through Florida = will get the Utah (North) Mormon vote for Nevada = but then the negative sentiment begins to draw him down...
    Say NO to R-money

    February 3, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    It's great seeing Mitt Romney capture and build on the strong support he deserves. America does not have to settle for excuses, nonperformance and political paralysis. Mitt Romney can get Washington back working for the people and bringing out the greatness America still has as a nation.

    February 3, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Too bad such an moral and honorable man as Romney has to compete with a slim bucket like Newt Gingrich. Where are the Republicans so-called morals.

    February 3, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  18. Samuel Cohen

    I don't get why the media is ignoring Ron Paul? I have yet to see anything on him, this is unfair.

    February 3, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. julien vergara

    Newt is a trouble maker. Why twisting a good comment. Lets save united states. Yes the president should help the middle class to find job. We need the rich to help our economy so we can help the poor

    February 3, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  20. jus-saying

    Romney already knows that he has very Mormon's vote. The Mormon (LDS) Church tells their followers who to vote for. Or they'll tell you they just send around a letter giving information to the members on who they should consider voting for. That letter never gets out of the Church.

    February 3, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  21. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250 000 Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    February 4, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  22. Showmeyerpapers

    What about all the areas of our country where the standard of living is govt aid, where the american society has been utterly destroyed and unrecognizable. We once had the greatest nation on earth, now in so many places all we have is "the streets" depressed mehican varios or barrios as they are so proud to say. My once quiet street is now a mexexpressway . The clovis were here long before any mehicans or indians ever existed and they were WHITE. I say deport them all every single one of them, if theyve married americans send them along. Its time to go home and fix their rathole country and stop sucking us dry and preying on innocent americans!

    February 4, 2012 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  23. Showmeyerpapers

    Still got my vote Mr Cain. Herman my man, my main man,the "hermanator" got the nwo scared to death . The man will allow the states to enforce the dadgum law against mehicos invasion of our lives! That would ruin everything for the nwo. Illegals must have murdered at least 250 000 americans in the last 50 years. Cant you hear their blood scream for justice from their graves? Our american brothers and sisters victims of federal ethnic cleansing! Sometimes at night i can hear a car horn stuck on as if in an accident,then another and another and so on when one goes silent the tune is carried on by others till they fill the night with the constant blare,the horrific and sickening symphony of americans getting wiped out by illegal "hispanic" drivers, theyre wiping out entire families daily

    February 4, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  24. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt Romney!!

    February 4, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  25. Cross

    C'm on Nevada, you can do better than Romney... He's just like obama, just white. And I wanna see changes.

    Paul 2012 – I'd vote for him even if he just wanted to end the wars and nothing else.

    And don't say he's an idiot. Cause if he is, than just imagine who Romney, Gingrich and Santorum must be, ultra-idiots?

    February 4, 2012 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
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