The Nevada GOP couldn't get the votes counted. By halftime of the Superbowl CNN.com was reporting that a full day after the caucuses only 83 percent of the precincts had been recorded.
The Iowa GOP chairman resigned in disgrace after it took nearly two weeks to decide that Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney had been the winner there. By that time, whatever minor momentum Santorum had gained by "losing" by only eight votes on caucus night had long dissipated and he was but a footnote in the South Carolina story.
The results from Nevada as of 7:50 pm Eastern time last night were:
Mitt Romney - (13,442) 48%
Newt Gingrich - (6,043) 22%
Ron Paul - ( 5,239) 19%
Rick Santorum - (2,952) 11%
I kiddingly Tweeted, after Iowa announced its final ruling, that international observers would be called in to oversee the Iowa caucuses in 2016.
Happily, for everyone involved, Romney has such a big lead that the inability of the Nevada GOP to count all the votes in a timely matter will not likely change anything. The only possibility would be Ron Paul edging out Newt Gingrich for second place, but that doesn't look likely.
I am serious about this: RNC National Chairman, Reince Priebus, should immediately dispatch anyone in the nation who has any idea how to run a caucus and tell the state parties that the RNC-designated person is in charge.
This is a little time sensitive in that there are two more caucuses scheduled for tomorrow - Minnesota and Colorado. In addition there are two states with rolling caucus dates this month. Maine is now underway through the 11th, and precincts in Wyoming can meet anytime between the 9th and the 29th.
Missouri has a non-binding primary election on Tuesday, but that has drawn almost no attention from the candidates or the media.
As of the end of halftime last night, the Nevada GOP had counted 28,356 votes. The percentages had shifted to:
Mitt Romney - 49%
Newt Gingrich - 22%
Ron Paul - 19%
Rick Santorum - 10%
It is likely that Romney will crack the 50 percent ceiling by the time the counting is over, even though that might not be until the next Superbowl.
Sheldon Adelson, who has been funding Gingrich's super PAC, owns the Venetian and Palazzo hotels - a total of 7,100 rooms. Assuming an average of two people per room, Adelson's operation is able to check 28,200 people in and out every two weekends at his two hotels on the Strip.
The Nevada Republican Party has taken 24 hours to count the same number of voters and still has a way to go.
The Iowa GOP had to count about 120,000 ballots including some made out in favor of long-forgotten names like Bachmann, Perry, and Huntsman. Nevada will only have to count slightly more than a third of that number and they can't get it done.
It's not just that this is unfair to Republicans - the national polls shift up and down with results of elections in individual states - it's downright embarrassing.
If I were the Democratic National Committee I would be running an ad saying:
Republicans tell you they want to run the country. Republicans want you to trust them to run the world. They can't even run simple elections in small states. Who would you trust? Obama 2012
I believe the only reason in federal law for the two national committees - The Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee - to exist is to choose their respective candidates for President.
That has been the reasoning behind using federal funds to help pay for the two national conventions which this year will be in Tampa, Florida in August (RNC) and in Charlotte, North Carolina (DNC).
But, Chairman Priebus can, and should, use that provision to immediately take control of the caucus states and restore some sense of order and confidence in a system which is off to a very bad start.
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