Going into Saturday's contest, Nevada GOP leaders told reporters they expected in upwards of 70,000 Republicans to participate. The final tally shows the party failed to even reach half that total.
What's more, if Nevada were the only state that struggled, it'd be easier to overlook. Unfortunately for the GOP, though, the poor showing in the Silver State fits into a larger pattern.
The Republicans' primary in Florida last week, for example, showed a sharp decline in turnout (about 14%) as compared to 2008. In the Iowa caucuses, GOP turnout fell short of expectations, and in the New Hampshire primary, it happened again. Turnout in South Carolina was strong, but given the party's difficulties in the other four contests, it's proving to be the exception.
On twitter, Dana Houle adds an interesting reminder.
Note, btw, that in only primary w good turnout, Romney got only 27%, lost by 13 to Gingrich
Could Houle have identified the source of the problem with Republican enthusiasm...when it comes to Mitt Romney - they're just not into him?