The core of Romney's support in Nevada likely will be made up of conservative, tea party voters in the state's northern reaches. Tea partyers concerned about Romney's conservative credentials likely will overlook their worries and choose him because of a desire to vote Obama out of office come November.
Romney also can count on strong support from his fellow Mormons. They represent about 9 percent of Nevada's population, and reliably show up to vote, mainly for Republican candidates.
Obama's campaign insists Nevada is leaning in its favor and argues that Romney has economic challenges in the state, too. They note that Romney once said the housing crisis should be allowed to run its course. "Let it hit bottom," he said.
Beyond that, Romney also must figure out how to counter Nevada's proven Democratic get-out-the-vote machine. The state party is so good at identifying its supporters and making sure they head to the polls that Democrats managed to re-elect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010, despite his widespread unpopularity.
In contrast, Nevada's Republican Party is the picture of disorganization and rivalry.
Ron Paul supporters have succeeded in taking over the organization in recent months, hurting its ability to collect dollars from old-guard campaign donors alarmed at the Nevada GOP's constant turmoil and posing a challenge for Romney.
Still, Nevada Republicans say any challenger to an incumbent president would start off as the underdog.
"Mitt Romney was just selected as the presumptive nominee about a month ago and Obama has been running for re-election for three and a half years," said Darren Littell, a Republic National Committee spokesman who set up camp in Las Vegas this month to help get Romney elected.
While Romney has yet to run any general election ads in Nevada, several outside groups are on the air and providing cover for him.
Nevada is a true swing-voting state. It chose Clinton in 1992 and 1996, before swinging Republican in 2000 and 2004 for George W. Bush. It backed Obama in 2008. And if history is any guide, it could again choose the eventual White House victor, as it has every four years since 1980.
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