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Clinton and Romney Projected Winners in Neighbor-state Nevada's Caucuses

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Projected Nevada Democratic caucus winner Hillary Clinton campaigned here in California this week, visiting supporters gathered at CSUN

As the results of today's caucuses--including one being held at Caesar's Palace--in Nevada continue to stream in, most are projecting Senator Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney the winners of the Democratic and Republican races, respectively.

The LA Times is reporting that "with 78% of the precincts reporting, Clinton had about 51% of the vote and Obama 45%. The Associated Press and the television networks projected Clinton as the winner as well." Romney emerged quickly as the front-runner in the state, with a 58% win so far, and was named the victor early on. His win in Nevada comes on the heels of his win in Michigan, the former Massachusetts governor's home state.

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While major Democratic candidates had a presence in Nevada leading up to today's record turnout caucus, much of their campaigning took a turn from recent love-fests, like last week's debate held in Las Vegas, and focused on the individual candidates differences. For this crucial Western state vote they "sharpened their rhetoric and their allies -- most notably organized labor -- also stepped up their intraparty warfare." In Nevada the Latino vote is considered the most coveted, with Barack Obama earning the much-desired Culinary Workers Union endorsement following Clinton's New Hampshire win. Getting the Latino vote here in California is also a priority for the Dems.

Of the Republicans, only Romney made a concerted effort to campaign in Nevada, with many of the other contenders opting to skip the state altogether, like Mike Huckabee, who is focusing on efforts in South Carolina.

One of the next major moments in this pre-Presidential decision comes on February 5th, when we here in California go to the polls in our primary.

Photo © Copyright 2008 by Jonathan Alcorn/Sundogg via the LAist Featured Photos Pool on Flickr