LAS VEGAS -- An 8 News NOW/Las Vegas Review-Journal poll shows Mitt Romney leading in Nevada with 44.5 percent among registered Republicans. Newt Gingrich trails at 24.2 percent. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul come in third and fourth.
Romney says he doesn't take Nevada for granted despite his commanding lead now and his overwhelming victory in Nevada in 2008. He says he must win Nevada on Saturday and again in November.
"It's going to be a very competitive caucus here in Nevada and the concern, of course, is that if you don't pay attention, someone can organize a small group of people to really have a big influence in the caucus and you could end up losing some delegates, and I need those delegates to become our nominee," Romney told 8 News Now.
He needs to convince Nevadans he can get them re-hired by shrinking the size of the federal government and forcing large and small banks to lend again.
"I'll get rid of Dodd-Frank, of course, we have to have regulation, it needs to be updated and modern, but the idea of frightening banks into making loans is a very bad course. We need to get the banking industry encouraging small business, entrepreneurship and development."
Romney also addressed the issue of so many Nevada homeowners being underwater in their mortgages.
"The best thing we can do for home values in this country is to get people working again so they can afford to buy homes, so they can afford to come on vacations to places like Florida and Las Vegas and other spots."
Romney says he doesn't support President Obama's relief programs HAMP and HARP. Instead, he believes the housing market must bottom out to repair itself.
"If you start having government starting to tax people so they can give money to people who need help in their homes, you'll just bring the market down, down, and down, and you'll never see an end to it."
He does differ from other prominent Republicans in his stance on Yucca Mountain.
"The people of Nevada should have a choice as to what they want to do with Yucca Mountain. The federal government should not step in and jam something down the throat of the people of Nevada."
Romney also said he doesn't support legalizing online gaming. He's says he's against it because of the social costs and people's addictive gambling habits.
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