Rivals Chase Trump Into Nevada Caucuses

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.03.23 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Good Tuesday morning.

The Republican caucuses in Nevada have gotten almost no attention, especially in contrast with the consequential Democratic contest in the state last weekend. But the Republican version on Tuesday presents another opportunity for one of the remaining candidates to restrain the wind at Donald J. Trumps back.

The public polling that is available in the state is scant, and it is not considered particularly reliable, in part because officials are not expecting a huge turnout. But Mr. Trump, who owns property in the state and is widely known there, is expected to win.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, however, has a good chance to come close to Mr. Trump or win the state outright, something he has been unable to do in the first three contests. Mr. Rubio spent a portion of his childhood in the state, and he may be able to capture the interest of some voters there.

The candidates have not signaled much about their expectations in the state, and most campaigns are already looking ahead to the Super Tuesday contests on March 1. As for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, he will be looking to move beyond the fuss over the resignation of his communications director, who spread a video on social media that misrepresented comments by Mr. Rubio about the Bible. By firing the aide, Mr. Cruz guaranteed that many more people learned of the event, just a week before voters in Mr. Cruz’s home state of Texas head to the polls.

As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton has moved a pledged delegate ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as they move into the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday and Super Tuesday a few days later. In an unpredictable cycle, things could change, but the Clinton campaign is making the case that it will be difficult for Mr. Sanders to regain that lead.