The Sheldon Adelson primary is already underway. As Republican presidential hopefuls prepare to meet with Adelson at an exclusive gathering in Las Vegas this week, The Washington Post is out with a telling report.
The billionaire mogul and casino magnate who spent more than $92 million on losing president candidates in 2012 intends to put his money behind the Republican with the clearest shot at winning the White House in 2016, according to people familiar with his thinking. (Adelson almost single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich alive during the 2012 Republican primaries before going on to back another loser, Mitt Romney.)
"The bar for support is going to much higher," Andy Abboud, a top political adviser to Adelson and executive at Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp., told The Post. "There's going to be a lot more scrutiny."
While Adelson has said that his decision will be governed by electability, there is one pet issue of his that stands above all the rest: his push to kill online gambling.
Adelson has already found champions for the leglislative effort in GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham is expected to introduce a Senate bill later this week restoring the pre-2011 federal ban on Internet gaming; Chaffetz will introduce a companion measure in the House.