CARSON CITY (AP) — Results of next week’s Nevada Republican presidential caucus will be released through Twitter and Google for the first time, state party leaders said Friday, though final results for the first-in-the-West GOP contest won’t be known until hours after prime time on the East Coast.
In a conference call with reporters, the state GOP said results from all but Nevada’s largest county will be released starting at 5 p.m. PST on Saturday, Feb. 4. But results from Clark County in Las Vegas, where three-fourths of the state resides, will come sometime after 7 p.m., when a special evening caucus begins there for Jewish voters marking the Sabbath.
Adam Sharp, Twitter manager of government and politics, said it’s the first time the social network will play a central role in announcing the outcome of a political presidential contest, calling it exciting to “open up access to this real time information.”
“We believe it will be the fastest results coming out of a caucus in history,” added James Anderson, of Cap Public Affairs, also on the conference call announcing the partnership.
The move will delay results from the state’s fifth-in-the-nation presidential nominating contest by several hours.
“We argued about it,” Heidi Smith, Nevada Republican national committeewoman, said after the call.
“It didn’t play in well to the East Coast. But people thought this would be the best because we didn’t want everything announced before Clark County closed.
“It will dribble in,” she said.
The Clark County Republican Party has said the nighttime caucus will accommodate conservative Jewish voters and others, such as Seventh Day Adventists, who observe the traditional weekly day of worship.
The move comes after casino billionaire and Newt Gingrich supporter Sheldon Adelson raised concerns about the Sabbath conflict. The evening gathering will be held at a school named after Adelson.
State officials acknowledged some campaigns have raised concerns about the Adelson school location because of $10 million he and his wife contributed to Gingrich’s Super PAC, but party officials said the location was chosen before the donations were known.
State GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian said as the presidential contest whipsaws across the country and front runners change, Nevada “may be the tipping point” in the crowning of an eventual nominee.
The state party’s goal, she said, is “to make sure all the voices are heard.”
David Gallagher, state GOP executive director, said he doesn’t expect a large showing at the special evening caucus. Evening caucus-goers will be required to sign an affidavit, attesting that they hadn’t voted earlier in the day at another location.
He said he hoped results from the nighttime caucus will be known in an hour or so.
Results will be released via the state GOP’s Twitter account, https://twitter.com/nvgop ,
Precinct and county results will be mapped by Google and linked to the Nevada Republican Party website.
Four years ago, before Twitter, results were released the old fashioned way — via phone calls, press releases and email. The party also posted results on its website and announced them at a media center.
Party officials anticipate 50,000 to 60,000 to participate in the caucuses that begin at different times according to schedules set up at the county level, with the earliest commencing at 7 a.m.
Mitt Romney won Nevada in 2008, when 44,000 attended the Republican contest, though the caucuses were a winner-take-all and nonbinding on delegates.
This year, the vote is binding and delegates will be decided proportionally, giving all remaining hopefuls a shot at picking up delegates.