We all expect the Nevada Republican Party to screw up. It is, after all, what they do best.
But they are taking it to a whole new level this cycle. There is plenty of coverage over New Hampshire-Gate, but not much has been made about the whole Idiotic GOP Caucus plan. So here goes...
For those of you unfamiliar with how a successful Caucus works, the idea pioneered by the Nevada Democratic Party in 2008 was: get as many people to turn out as possible, especially non-partisans. Register as many people on Caucus day as possible, especially non-partisans. Make the attendees socialize in a big, noisy hall and force them to literally "stand" for their candidate. A little disorder is OK in exchange for excitement and relevance on a national scale.
The Nevada Republican Party has managed to set up a Caucus Program that will achieve NONE of those points. For example, if you want to be part of the NV Caucus, you will need to be a Republican for 30 IN ADVANCE of January 14th, and you better be prepared to prove it buddy! Stupid, paranoid decision.
The NV GOP rules require a secret ballot: they again will be using voting machines. No Noise. No excitement. No "standing" for anything. Stupid, missing-the-point-of-a-Caucus plan.
And best of all, by not coordinating with the National GOP and other states, the Nevada GOP has set itself up and given "poorer" GOP candidates a way to avoid the cost having to campaign in Nevada, while "sucking up" to vain, egocentric, New Hampshire voters.
The lack of campaigning by potential GOP nominees in the run up to the Caucus will absolutely hurt the Republicans in November, in both a missed opportunity to build a base of volunteers, as well as missing the chance to dominate the local headlines with free newsprint with stories about visiting candidates.
Ironically Nevada is the only one of the 4 Official "Early Primary" states that is also potential swing state in November. The prize of an early voting status, is to parley that status into a win on Election Day. The GOP botching the Caucus may cost them any chance at a Red Nevada in 2012.
I used to think the NV GOP, and maybe the National GOP tried to downplay the 2008 Caucus on purpose to keep NV from being relevant that year. It was the DCCC's big plan to "Win the West" after all. Now I think the GOP are just horrible at what they do. Their "Market-based" election plan demonstrates exactly what can go wrong with markets: when left in the hands of idiots they tend to crash.