Hillary Clinton Won The Nevada Caucus – Huffington Post
In the 2008 Democratic presidential caucus, Clinton won the popular vote over then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, though he ultimately picked up more delegates because of how his supporters were distributed throughout the state. This time, Clinton’s campaign worked to correct that mistake, pouring resources into rural areas beyond Las Vegas, where a majority of caucus-goers reside.
While Sanders’ campaign didn’t open field offices in the state or have staff on the ground until months after Clinton’s, it quickly caught up. His campaign eventually had more paid staff on the ground than hers and spent significantly more on television ads. And in a major coup for the senator, the 60,000-strong Culinary Workers Union decided to remain neutral, robbing Clinton of the organizing muscle it had put behind Obama in 2008.
Two recent TV ads showcase the candidates’ different approaches to winning over Nevadans. Sanders put out an ad highlighting how hard the state was hit by the 2008 financial crisis, pairing Nevadans talking about losing their homes with his usual message about taking on Wall Street, fighting income inequality and breaking up the big banks. Clinton’s ad, in contrast, focused on a conversation she had with a young girl whose parents were at risk of being deported. She tells the 10-year-old that she will “do everything I can so you don’t have to be scared.”
Clinton’s Latino supporters, like longtime labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, criticized Sanders for voting against a bipartisan immigration reform bill in 2007, with some suggesting that his current immigration advocacy had come late. Sanders, in turn, emphasized Clinton’s ties to Wall Street donors as he campaigned in Nevada, implying that she wouldn’t be as strong an advocate for reforming the financial services sector.
The race between Sanders and Clinton now turns to South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Feb. 27 and to the slew of states holding primaries and caucuses on March 1, otherwise known as “Super Tuesday.”
Polls have consistently shown Clinton ahead of Sanders by a large margin in South Carolina, where more than half of the Democratic electorate is black. Before she just barely beat Sanders in Iowa, she told Palmetto State Democrats that they were one of her “first lines of defense.” A big win for Clinton in South Carolina, combined with her Nevada victory, would help make her case that she is the more appealing candidate for a broader cross-section of Democratic voters.
Sanders could win the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Massachusetts and Vermont primaries on March 1, though Clinton still looks like the favorite in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, which all hold primaries that day.
One problem for Sanders is that Clinton has built up a huge lead among superdelegates, the Democratic officials and officeholders who do not have to support their state’s primary or caucus winner at the party’s convention this summer. The Sanders campaign’s philosophy is that in states where it can dominate among the voters, the superdelegates will feel obliged to honor the will of the grassroots. Either way, it’s months until the convention.
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