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Romney Wins Nevada, Democratic Caucus Begins

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney claimed a victory in Nevada's GOP caucuses this afternoon, his second win in the last five days in the fight for the nomination.

A union member waits in line Saturday at the Paris Casino Democratic caucus site in Las Vegas. (Special to

Romney's win takes some pressure off of his campaign in South Carolina, where he has spent millions of dollars to win today's primary but where polling shows him running a distant third behind Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Even as Romney was declaring victory in Nevada, the Democratic caucuses were beginning in earnest. Attendees at the mobile precincts on the Las Vegas Strip described a melange of cocktail waitresses, pit bosses and other casino workers gathered to caucus. Signs were spotted that read: "I support my union. I support Hillary."

Expectations were high for both Clinton and Obama heading into today. Polling showed Clinton in the lead, but Obama's support from the large and influential Culinary Workers Union led many to believe his get-out-the-vote operation would be superior.

Regardless of the results of today's vote -- as well as next Saturday's South Carolina Democratic primary -- the fight for the Democratic nomination has turned into a delegate hunt with all eyes on Feb. 5 when 22 states are set to vote.

Stay tuned for more developments on Nevada's Democratic caucus and South Carolina's Republican primary later today on The Fix.

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By Chris Cillizza  |  January 19, 2008; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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