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Ah, those fickle Nevada Republicans

August 18, 2007 |  4:18 pm

New poll!

Romney soars to the lead! Alert the media! (Sorry for the "Arthur" movie reference, but this is L.A.). Which of course the Mitt Romney campaign did. What's all the excitement?

A new Reno Gazette-Journal poll that shows a radical change in the desert winds, with Romney moving to 28% in Nevada, a 10 percentage point lead over both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, at 18%. Key is that since March, Romney has gained 24 percentage points while Giuliani has dropped 20 percentage points. It's beginning to feel like the stock market.

But as pollsters tell you, a poll is simply a snapshot of a moment's opinion, and those are subject to change. Lots of change. "I wouldn't take these numbers to the bank," Republican analyst Eric Herzik, of the University of Nevada, Reno, told the paper. "Republican numbers have bounced around in [this] poll and other polls. It really depends on who has been here and who has any organization."

The Gazette-Journal says ...

... Romney has out-paced the other Republican campaigns in gearing up staff in the state, which always helps exposure -- and poll numbers. It's a familiar pattern for the former Massachusetts governor, who's made significant financial and staff investments in other early states.

And the large number of Mormons in Nevada surely helps Romney's numbers. Still, that kind of growth has to make the campaign happy no matter where it came from. More Nevada polls here.

On the Democratic side Hillary Rodham Clinton had 33% to 19% for Barack Obama, both staying relatively static. John Edwards moved up four percentage points since March to 15% and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had the biggest movement, up to 11 % from 2%. More Democratic polls here.

-- Scott Martelle