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Romney expected to clinch Nevada caucases

By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch –

SAN FRANCISCO — In this election season’s first Republican presidential caucus in a Western state, Mitt Romney is widely expected to win Nevada and its 28 convention delegates at Saturday’s caucuses, according to media reports.

Polls earlier in the week indicate the former Massachusetts governor has a 20-point or more lead over his closest opponent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia. On Tuesday, Romney beat Gingrich in Florida, where he won 46 percent of the vote to Gingrich’s 32 percent.

The two remaining candidates, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, are given little chance of winning. Santorum was campaigning in Colorado and Paul in Minnesota.

In 2008, Romney won Nevada’s Republican caucus with 51 percent of the votes, with Paul a distant runner up.

Early results from the Nevada caucuses are expected about 8 p.m. Eastern time. Clark County, home to Las Vegas and 72 percent of Nevada’s 2.7 million residents, isn’t scheduled to release its results before 10 p.m. Eastern.

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