Twelve years after Nevada debuted as one of the four states that sets the tone and tempo of a presidential nominating contest, party strategists are working to boost their visibility in a Democratic primary that has so far disproportionately focused on the other three early states.
Several interest groups have held or are planning forums that will draw presidential contenders to Las Vegas. The state Democratic Party hired its caucus director in March, and party officials like chairman William McCurdy regularly field phone calls from the candidates.
But Nevada, the third state that will allocate delegates in the nominating process after Iowa and New Hampshire but before South Carolina, still feels overlooked.
The 21 candidates still in the race have held a combined total of 64 events in Nevada, according to a running tally maintained by The Nevada Independent, the news site run by veteran Silver State journalist Jon Ralston.
That's the same number of events Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) has held in Iowa alone. It is two more than the number of events candidates have collectively held in Iowa City, population 76,000. And it is about one-sixth the number of events the candidates have held in South Carolina, a state that will vote a week after Nevada does.