By Miriam Raftery
Photo: screenshot from video uploaded by Sanders' campaign; speaking after in Texas after his Nevada win
View video of Sanders' victory speech, delivered before a large crowd in San Antonio, Texas
February 23, 2020 (San Diego) – Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders scored a decisive win in yesterday’s Nevada caucus, winning 46% of the votes, more than twice as many as any other candidate. His big win raises questions over whether Sanders' has the potential to mobilize his substantial grassroots support to defeat President Donald Trump in November, or whether the divided moderate wing of the party should unify to block a Sanders' win.
He also proved wrong critics who claimed he couldn’t appeal to minority voters in swing states, picking up support of over half of Nevada’s large Latino population and holding his own (along with former Vice President Joe Biden) with strong support among African-American voters, as well as most white voters according to exit polls. He had by far the biggest support among voters age 30 or younger, drew many moderate voters and even won five of seven caucus sites at casinos among rank-and-file union workers, despite the culinary workers union opposing his Medicare for All proposal.
With 60% of votes tallied, Sanders has 46%, Biden 19.6%, Pete Buttigieg 15.3%, Elizabeth Warren 10.1%, Amy Klobucher 4.8%, and Tom Steyer 4.1%.
Of note, Nevada’s early voting period had already closed before last week’s debate, in which Warren attacked billionaire Michael Bloomberg over efforts to buy the election and over Bloomberg’s history of demeaning comments toward women as well as settling many sexual harassment and discrimination claims filed against Bloomberg or his company.
Warren’s campaign reported a $14 million bump in fundraising after the debate, too late to help her in Nevada, but she could potentially see a rise in South Carolina, the next state to vote, and/or on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, when 14 states will hold primary elections, including California.
Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, was not on the ballot in Nevada, skipping caucus states but investing over half a billion dollars on ads in Super Tuesday states.