Trump looks to Nevada for third straight win
© Getty Images

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents A history lesson on the Confederacy for President Trump GOP senator: Trump hasn't 'changed much' since campaign MORE is looking to Tuesday night’s Nevada caucuses for his third consecutive statewide victory as Marco RubioMarco RubioScarborough: Trump has chosen the 'wrong side' THE MEMO: Trump reignites race firestorm RNC spokeswoman: GOP stands behind Trump's message 'of love and inclusiveness' MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzThe media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville Curtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Kimmel: Let’s make Trump a king so he has no power MORE battle for the mantle of his top opponent. 

Trump comes into Nevada on the heels of a decisive win in Saturday’s GOP presidential primary in South Carolina, where he won with a third of the vote and all of the state’s 50 delegates. 

With caucuses closing at midnight EST in Nevada, preliminary reports show Trump ahead, with 42 percent of the vote, Cruz with 23 percent and Rubio at 22 percent.

Going into Tuesday, the real estate mogul held a major delegate lead — 68 delegates to Cruz’s 11 and Rubio’s nine — a total he appears to have increased with a strong performance in Nevada. This time, 30 delegates are up for grabs, awarded proportionally based on results across the state. 
Although the Silver State typically sees extremely low turnout on caucus night, there have been reports of long lines at some precincts. Trump’s team on the ground has been working to turn out a coalition of first-time caucusgoers who could boost him to victory and add to his overwhelming momentum.
While final numbers won't be known for hours, initial reports suggest an uptick in the number of caucusgoers. By mid-afternoon, a Republican official confirmed 37,000 people had preregistered for the contest. That's more than the 33,000 who participated in 2012. 

Entrance polls from MSNBC show that 32 percent of caucusgoers are evangelical, an increase from 2012, when that number was about 25 percent.  

The plurality of those who turned out, 43 percent, considered themselves "somewhat conservative," according to entrance polls. Another 40 percent said they are "very conservative," and 15 percent are "moderate."
Almost 7 in 10 voters chose their candidate sometime before the past seven days, according to CNN.
NBC's "Meet the Press" reported that 61 percent of GOP caucusgoers want a political outsider for president.
And the electorate is slightly more diverse than it was in 2012: This time, CNN notes its entrance polls show 86 percent white voters and 8 percent Hispanic voters. That's a 60 percent increase of Hispanic voters compared to 2012.  

Rubio, the silver medalist in South Carolina, is looking to solidify his position as the establishment’s best — and only —hope to defeat Trump now that Jeb Bush is out of the race. Throughout Monday, establishment politicians flocked to Rubio.

But Cruz hopes to thread together a coalition of evangelicals and very conservative Republicans that typically make up a primary electorate.

The remaining candidates in the race — John Kaisch, who has done little campaigning in Nevada, and Ben Carson — are not expected to be serious contenders for the top spots. But Carson will likely siphon away a portion of the evangelical vote that would have otherwise broken for Cruz or Trump, while Kasich’s support will likely overlap with Rubio's.