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Poll shows Nevadans support trading caucus for primary

A new poll of Nevada voters released Monday found bipartisan support for getting rid of the caucus system in favor of presidential preference primary elections.

The Nevada Public Opinion Pulse, conducted and paid for by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights and shared with the Review-Journal, surveyed 783 registered voters between July 6-11.

Half of respondents (52 percent) said they preferred a primary system, with just 13 percent in favor of retaining the caucus system Nevada has used since 1981. The remaining 32 percent had no opinion on the matter. The poll’s margin of error was 3.5 percent.

Earlier this year, the Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 126, which officially moved the state into a primary system for presidential elections. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill into law, and it will take effect during the 2024 election.

The poll also asked voters to choose the correct definitions of each election system, finding that 55 percent could correctly differentiate primaries from caucuses. Primary elections were defined as statewide contests cast on secret ballots, while caucuses are local gatherings where voters decide which candidate to support. Five percent of respondents thought they were the same thing, and 12 percent switched the definitions.

The party registration of the respondents were split fairly evenly at 35 percent Democrats, 34 percent nonpartisan or third-party and 30 percent Republicans — similar to the state’s actual active voter makeup of 35 percent Democrats and 31 percent Republicans.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans supported moving to a primary, compared to 53 percent of Democrats. Fewer nonpartisan and third-party voters weighed in definitively on the issue, with 43 percent saying they preferred a primary and 41 percent choosing “no opinion.”

The website FiveThirtyEight gives the nonpartisan OH Predictive Insights a B/C rating whose polls skew slightly Republican.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.