The Nevada Democratic Caucuses has been the all-but-designated runt of the Democratic' primary calendar reconfiguration, and with all the recent shifting, it's arguably less relevant than it was. But many of the Democrats, in particular, have demonstrated that even with its downgraded status, Nevada is worth the effort and expense. The real reason Nevada remains relevant to the primaries is its status as a general election swing state.
Item: Today, Sen. Barack Obama begins Spanish-language radio advertising in the state. (His campaign will announce this shortly.)
Item: Rumors swirl that Sen. John Edwards has begun to move staff out of Nevada; a spokesperson won't confirm or deny.
Item: This cycle, Nevada is the only state in which a single union endorsement could clinch the state for a candidate. The Culinary Workers Local 226 of UniteHere represents 60,000 Las Vegas casino and restuarant workers. Negotiators just secured its members new, five-year contract from Harrah's. But Local 226 is also fighting MGM-Mirage, which owns 10 major properties on the strip. A strike looks more and more likely. The Dem presidential candidates have agreed to join the workers on the picket line.
Item: Think that John Edwards has the Local 226 endorsement locked up? Not so fast. Obama has been courting its members furiously (as has Sen. Hillary Clinton), and knowledgeable union political sources say that an endorsement of Obama is as likely (if not more likely) than an endorsement of Edwards.
Item: Clinton has the most high-profile endorsements and the backing of many key components of the Harry Reid machine (although Reid himself is neutral); Obama's campaign claims the most volunteers and two very astute vets of recent cycles: ex-NV Dem executive director Alison Schwartz and ex-Jill Derby (NV-02) campaign manager David Cohen. Many veteran union organizers are helping Edwards.
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