Sunday, January 20, 2008

Romney win shows strength in West

"'Today, the people of Nevada voted for change in Washington,' Romney said in a statement his campaign released. "For far too long, our leaders have promised to take the action necessary to build a stronger America, and still the people of Nevada and all across this country are waiting. Whether it is reforming health care, making America energy independent or securing the border, the American people have been promised much and are now ready for change.'

"Historical significance aside, South Carolina lost half its 47 delegates when it broke national party rules and moved up its primary. The result: Nevada is worth more delegates, 34 to 24. In such a contested field, the difference may prove important.

"'It's his business experience that really draws me to him,' Joshua Nielsen said before more than two dozen caucus-goers at Green Valley High School in suburban Henderson on a clear and cool Saturday morning.

"Nielsen said he was in college as a business major in Salt Lake City when Romney came in to reform the scandal-plagued 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Even Romney's critics call his restoring the Games to strong footing an accomplishment. The law student has been a supporter ever since.

"Romney 'does have a message that's resonating in the Mountain West,' said Robert Eisinger, a political scientist at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and an expert on presidential polling. 'But he's also dedicating resources there.'

"With his Silver State win, Romney can say he has strong support in the Intermountain West. He easily won Wyoming this month, and he enjoys backing from Colorado's GOP elite. "

By Chuck Plunkett The Denver Post

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