The Dems have Las Vegas in the rear view mirror, but the Republicans are roaring up on it like a bureaucratic bachelor party.
On both sides of the presidential race, the stakes are rising rapidly as the big Super Tuesday votes loom.
Here’s what to watch this week in politics.
1) Three of a Kind?: Republican voters will caucus in Nevada Tuesday and Donald Trump is hoping promising polls will deliver him his third win in a row. But many eyes will once again be on the race for second and third – Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in particular will be watching closely. That said, don’t expect any of the remaining campaigners to bow out immediately no matter how it goes. They’ll let it ride until at least the first week of March, but then Jeb Bush and the others who have already abandoned the race may have more company on the golf course.
2) Hit Me Again, Dealer: On the Dem side, CNN will hold another town hall meeting the same day of the GOP Nevada caucus. Watch for Sanders and Clinton to hit each other hard. She is encouraged after the win in the west, but knows she is not in the clear yet. He is steadily grinding away at voting blocs she thought she could reliably build upon, and she has not had a particularly strong win yet to dispel doubts about her electability. She needs a big win when South Carolina Democrats vote on Saturday. As for Sanders, he knows he’s playing in potentially hostile territory so all that matters: Does he beat expectations?
3) Know When to Hold ‘Em: Meanwhile, over at the White House, President Obama is scrutinizing possible Supreme Court nominees. When we finally get a name watch the war erupt: If he chooses a liberal, GOPers will accuse him of just trying to start a fight. If he goes with a moderate, some stalwarts on the Republican side will instantly revive their original complaint: the next president should make that choice.
(CNN’s Tom Foreman is the author of My Year of Running Dangerously)