Dem turnout drops by a third in Nevada vs. 2008

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Turnout in Nevada's Democratic caucuses dropped by about one third on Saturday as compared to 2008, raising questions about a lack of enthusiasm among the party's voters.

About 80,000 Nevadans turned out to vote in the party's cacuses in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton edged out Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to an estimate provided to the Washington Examiner by the Nevada Democratic Party. That is down sharply from the roughly 118,000 who voted in 2008, when Clinton beat then Sen. Barack Obama.

In 2008, the strong turnout for Democrats in their nominating contests ended up forshadowing a large level of energy and enthusiasm on the Democratic side that carried over into the general election.

One of the biggest question marks facing Clinton, should she go on to win the nomination, is whether or not she can reproduce the coalition of voters — especially young voters and minorities — that won Obama the White House two times. The low turnout in Nevada is one bit of early evidence suggesting it will be a challenge, though it is by no means a definitive indicator.