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Bernie Sanders wins the Nevada Caucus

by Joe Tomlinson
Tue, Mar 3rd 2020 12:00 pm
Sen. Bernie Sanders has won three of the first four early voting states and is now the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has won three of the first four early voting states and is now the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, the third nominating contest for the Democratic presidential nominee took place in the form of the Nevada caucus. After the conclusion of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary earlier in the month, the gap between candidates has significantly widened. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic frontrunner, has dominated the early voting states in this primary election season. Narrowly losing out on a few delegates in Iowa to Pete Buttigieg, despite getting more overall votes, Sanders rebounded on Feb. 11, by winning the New Hampshire primary and beating Buttigieg by nearly 4,000 votes. 

Enter the Nevada Caucus, a state that contains the largest population of Latinx voters among early voting states. As a result, Nevada is traditionally seen as a trial for how favorably Latinx voters look upon potential presidential candidates and how well they will perform with that group down the road. 

“Sanders dominated among Latinos and young voters, entrance polls showed. But he was broadly successful across demographic groups,” CNN reported, “reaching parity with his rivals among moderate voters.”

In total, there were 36 delegates up for grabs within the state, Sanders managed to bag 24 of them. The Vermont senator garnered 46.8% of the vote, with no other candidate cracking 20% besides Joe Biden by the time all votes were counted.

The Nevada Caucus revealed several positive developments for the Sanders campaign, mainly that his diverse, grassroots campaign of volunteers is effective in encouraging voter turnout. 

“When I look out at an audience like this and I see the diversity and beauty in this audience,” Sanders said in a recent speech, “I have absolute confidence we can create a government based on compassion, based on love and based on truth, not what we have now of greed, corruption and lies.”

Another positive sign for the Sanders campaign is that he has the most funds available out of any non-billionaire candidate. 

“Sanders brought in $46 million in February, according to figures provided by the campaign,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “It came from 2.2 million donations.”

This is especially good news for Sanders following the results of the South Carolina primary on Saturday, Feb. 29. Former Vice President Joe Biden dominated the state, earning him much needed delegates for a campaign that was previously reeling from a fourth place finish in Iowa, and an even worse fifth in New Hampshire. The state acts as a milestone for Biden, who has never won a primary despite running for president in both 1988 and 2008.

“Just days ago, the press and the pundits had declared this candidacy dead,” Biden told supporters. “Now, thanks to all of you, the heart of the Democratic Party, we’ve just won and we’ve won big because of you. We are very much alive!”

However, Biden still has a lot of ground to cover if he wants to challenge Sanders lead, who came in a distant second in the South Carolina primary. Indeed, on the day of the primary, the Sanders campaign broke a personal fundraising record. According to the LA Times, the campaign raked in $4.5 million that day, which is more than any other day since he announced he was running over a year ago. 

This past week two presidential candidates withdrew from the race, billionaire Tom Steyer and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigiug. As Super Tuesday draws closer, where 11 states will weigh in, Sanders chances of becoming the Democratic nominee continue to increase. 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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