Feb. 3 - The distressed housing market casts a shadow over the Nevada Republican caucus. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Las Vegas, Nevada. America's gambling capitol. But as republicans presidential hopefuls hit the ground in Nevada ahead of Saturday's caucus, its a different kind of real estate that comes into focus: Nevada's collapsed housing sector. In fact an estimated one out of every 175 homes in Nevada is in foreclosure -- leaving the state's voters skeptical. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL LOUIS OF LAS VEGAS NEVADA ON POLITICAL CANDIDATES SOLUTION TO HOUSING CRISIS, SAYING: "I haven't heard anything that I haven't heard already. Obviously, we would like to see it improve but with the economy the way it is in Las Vegas, it is just going to take years for that to happen." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CASSIE DAUGHTY OF LAS VEGAS NEVADA ON POLITICAL CANDIDATES SOLUTION TO HOUSING CRISIS, SAYING: "I mean you don't really know what could be done to fix it. You see things happening that are supposed to go out and help people keep from foreclosing. It really doesn't look like it has done all that much. I mean next door was renting for a long time and they ended up having to sell because they can't keep renting because the renters market has gone down quite a bit." Analysts say both housing and unemployment in Nevada means republican voters are more likely to focus on fiscal conservatism rather than hot-button social issues. Polls show Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor fresh off an endorsement from business mogul Donald Trump -- has a double digit lead in Nevada, followed by Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Romney, who launched his economic plan months ago in Las Vegas has recently highlighted Gingrich's work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which some say contributed to troubles in the housing sector. Ron Paul, who has long had an enthusiastic base of supporters in Nevada is expected to come in third. But with Nevada's delegates awarded proportionally, the February 4th caucus appears unlikely to deal a knock-out punch to any of the candidates in the fight for the White House. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.