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December 21, 2014

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Nevada really is a lot different from Democrats’ first two states

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LAS VEGAS SUN

2008 Caucus Coverage

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The significance of Nevada’s presidential caucus, hailed as the “first in the West,” goes beyond the state’s place on a map.

Differences between the sites of the first two Democratic contests and No. 3 Nevada abound a distinction largely responsible for the Silver State having been the focus of American presidential politics for the past 10 days.

Nevada has a level of racial and ethnic diversity not found in Iowa or New Hampshire. Recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates put the Hispanic population here at more than 600,000, close to one-quarter of the state’s population far more than in Iowa and New Hampshire, where 93 percent and 95 percent of the residents are white.

Nevada also has a highly transient population. Since 2000 the state has grown by nearly 30 percent, adding more than 500,000 residents, even with the steady flow of people packing up and heading elsewhere.

Though the state’s demographics figured prominently in the national Democratic Party’s decision to award an early caucus to Nevada, even many political experts are uncertain how that diversity will shape the outcome of today’s caucus.

Here is a look at how Nevada stacks up statistically to Iowa, New Hampshire and the nation as a whole:

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