Caucus is a learning experience

In less than three weeks, Nevada becomes the next state in a line of many for voters to choose their top presidential candidates from both the Democrat and Republican parties.

The Democrat conduct their caucus three days before the Republicans on Feb. 20 in what now appears to be a two-candidate race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, the Republicans will be duking it in the Silver State’s early caucus on Feb. 23, but by the time Nevadans go to other precinct meetings to choose their candidates, the field may be smaller than what showed up in Iowa.

The national media-driven circus (or House of Horrors depending on your feelings) of campaign stops and debates in Iowa and New Hampshire and soon in South Carolina have made weeks seem like months. Nevada’s caucus dates for the two political parties will be the First in the West.

Although many voters do not like the caucus procedure because it requires more time than pulling a lever, individuals will gain a much better and clearer idea of how the political system works when choosing a presidential candidate. Political training has either taken place or will occur for many attendees, while high school seniors —many of them old enough to vote — have learned more about the caucus and how candidates receive delegates.

Unless something unforeseen happens during this month with the Republicans, we expect Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and billionaire land developer Donald Trump to be at the top of the pack, but based on the Iowa results, we cannot discount Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who made a swing through Fallon on Sept. 1 where he talked to community leaders in one session and then residents in the second.

We also wonder if Rand Paul will be able to corral some of the votes his father pulled in Churchill County during previous caucuses. The strong Libertarian roots in Nevada may undoubtedly fall behind Paul to ensure he also has a strong outing in the Silver State.

For the Democrats, Clinton may have the grassroots structure to carry Nevada, but Sanders has captured the hearts and imaginations of younger voters and those who are hesitant in supporting the former First Lady.

So begins another long, drawn out election cycle in Nevada that will end in less than 11 months and capped by electing a new president. Although the caucus may not be exciting, it does give everyone who attends the opportunity to be involved with the selection process, good or bad. Not only is this a presidential election year but also an important election cycle in Nevada where voters will cast ballots for a new U.S. senator and four House of Representatives seats. Standing up for your convictions is what the grassroots effort is all about.

LVN Editorials appear on Wednesdays.

Since this editorial was written on Feb. 2, Rand Paul has suspended his campaign.


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