Primary elections in a majority of States is by simple ballot-voting on primary day. In and out, punch your candidate's name on your ballot, and go about your day. It usually lasts all day, from about 8AM until about 8PM, and federal law requires employers to allow time for employees to go and cast their votes.
THEN there are the Caucus states, which Nevada became a part of starting with the 2008 election cycle. Caucus events are for primaries only, and only for the presidential nomination. The caucus takes roughly two hours to complete, and requires meeting with other GOP voters in your precinct (neighborhood) and having an open discussion about the candidates and their merits. It is much more involved than casting a simple primary ballot.
Iowa is most famous for the first-in-the-nation caucus, which they hold on February 1st, making them the very first state to tabulate support for particular presidential candidates. They are followed by New Hampshire, South Carolina, and then Nevada. (NV & SC actually straddle each other because the Dem & GOP caucuses are on different dates.)
The next event in the primary is Super Tuesday on March 1st. It's name is derived from the fact that 11 Southern states + Alaska will all hold their primaries on the same day. There will most likely be a clear frontrunner after March 1st. The momentum a candidate gains in the caucus states by winning 2 or 3 of those contests can give them a boost on Super Tuesday.
The other states are scattered in groups of 2-5 states on various dates through June 14th, when the primary contest ends. The nominee for each party is generally chosen and agreed upon before they hold their Convention, but if there is no clear winner, it can lead to a brokered convention, which means a lot of arm-twisting and haggling over who will be the eventual nominee.
While not first in the nation, Nevada is billed as the First-in-the-West primary, and has generally been considered a swing state in the last few election cycles. The caucus process is still unfamiliar to many Nevada voters, and it requires a commitment of time and energy that a majority of voters are unwilling or unable to expend. (especially on a weeknight)
The caucus favors candidates who have an activist following, and whose die-hard supporters will fight to be there and be heard. In Nevada, Ron Paul had a vocal caucus presence in the GOP contest, but not enough to overcome the Mitt Romney support from the Mormon community. In 2008, Paul supporters took over the state convention, making a ruckus and trying to pull more delegates for Ron Paul than he actually won in the caucus. This caused the GOP to cut the convention short, to head off a complete revolt.
This year, the main contest in Nevada looks to be between Trump and Ted Cruz. In a Gravis Marketing Poll conducted from December 23-27, Trump and Cruz were first and second in the state among primary caucus voters. Rand Paul's 1% support is a pale reflection of his father's support in past contests. If many Ron Paul supporters have moved over to Trump, we can expect there to be an interesting contest in our state.
The Ted Cruz campaign is conducting caucus training for those who are interested in voting for Cruz, which will be held at the Cruz campaign headquarters at 9640 W Tropicana Ave, Ste. 119, Las Vegas, NV 89147. It's in the same parking lot as In-N-Out Burger. (HOW convenient is THAT?)
Training starts TONIGHT @ 6PM
Next Caucus Training is on SATURDAY, the 9th at 10AM.
FOR RENO AREA:
3652 S. Virginia St. Ste. C3
Reno, NV 89502
It takes about an hour, and you will know what to expect when you show up to caucus for Ted Cruz on February 23, 2016!