Sen. Bernie Sanders has the momentum and there really isn’t much standing in his way after his resounding Nevada win last night. It was no contest. Sanders handily won the caucuses, despite the state Democratic Party dealing with some similar issues concerning vote tabulations. Phone lines were jammed. It was slow, but the race was called by some of the major news organizations before 6 P.M. Many more called it for Sanders as it approached 8 in the evening.
The basic takeaway here is that it's Bernie's nomination to lose. Exactly how big his margin is in Nevada, who finishes 2nd, etc., may tell us something about precisely how likely he is to lose it, and who is most likely to take it away from him. But it's his race to lose.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 23, 2020
Based on the initial exits, it’s no wonder why Sanders won this contest. For starters, one huge number was revealed prior to caucus-goers heading to their respective locations: Bernie had a lock on Hispanic voters.
A Reuters/Ipsos polls shows Bernie Sanders has a clear lead with Hispanic voters, a key constituency in Nevada. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic respondents said the self-proclaimed democratic socialist was their first choice https://t.co/lzVIv1EUEX pic.twitter.com/jeVRIxMrEi— Reuters (@Reuters) February 22, 2020
And that advantage, along with him dominating the 45 and younger vote and those described as “very liberal” gave him an edge that was just insurmountable for his competition:
Early @NBCNews entrance polls of NV: Vote among Democrats who decided in the last few days ??— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 22, 2020
#Nevada Entrance Poll:— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) February 22, 2020
#NevadaCaucus Exit Polls:— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) February 22, 2020
#NevadaCaucuses Entrance Poll Among Very Liberal— Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers) February 22, 2020
Sanders holding his own among black voters, and cleaning up among Hispanic voters and all age groups under 45 https://t.co/gPr9ZAo6Vm— Rick Klein (@rickklein) February 22, 2020
As the second round of voting began, Bernie only got stronger. Yes, it was a Sanders smash.
One interesting tidbit from this contest was Sanders’ union support. His campaign and the key Culinary Workers Union have been in a nasty fight in the days leading up to this caucus. The union refused to endorse anyone. They thought Joe Biden was way past his prime—they’re not wrong—and Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposals was just a bridge too far. The plan, which is also ruinously expensive, strips health care for 150+ million Americans. All private plans are gutted for a government one. Democrats are running on taking away people’s health care—and union workers in Nevada supported it last night. It’s scary. Will natural gas workers in the Rust Belt feel the same way?
So Bernie won at the Wynn and Bellagio sites. This is significant. Remember these are Culinary workers, and the Culinary put out that flyer saying Bernie would end their health care.— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) February 22, 2020
I know this is conventional pundit wisdom but Biden absolutely must win SC, and by a lot, in order to have any justification to remain in the race. Bloomberg needs Biden out, pronto. So the Biden/Bloomberg blood feud will escalate in the next week. Which is great for Bernie!— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 23, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden thinks he can mount a campaign restart in South Carolina, but even if he wins, his margins will be too small. He needs a huge win, akin to Sanders in Nevada, and he won’t get it. I’ll bet money, as other reporters and commentators have, that Sanders chips into Biden’s black voter support. Either way, if Biden can’t show he can’t break away from Sanders and the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in a decisive way in South Carolina, then he should probably go. As for Sanders, well, he looks bound to clean up this nomination fight. Can this train be stopped? For those Democrats who hope that an anti-Sanders movement can arise, the wet towel here is that the numbers just don’t pan out. Too many Democrats like Bernie. And while it's way too early to start fretting, Bernie just ran the table with union workers, young people, and Latinos. That's the Obama coalition.
The number that should worry stop-Bernie Ds coming out of NV, and it has nothing to do with the caucus results. pic.twitter.com/ivPW48lPfz— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) February 22, 2020