What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
On Saturday, following an eventful DNC debate in Las Vegas on Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders won the Nevada Caucuses by a landslide. It was a dominating performance that has catapulted him into frontrunner status, causing concern in both Democrats and Republicans alike.
After a near victory in Iowa and a narrow victory in New Hampshire, Sanders obliterated the field in Nevada and, in doing so, improved his odds of winning the Democrat nomination. He isn’t guaranteed to win, but it’s looking good for Bernie and his army of “Bernie Bros” at the moment. Senator Sanders won with 40.5% of the vote, more than double the score of Joe Biden who finished in second place with 18.9%. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was unable to keep his momentum going and finished at a distant third followed by Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
South Carolina, next up in the primary cycle, holds its election on Saturday. Joe Biden still leads the polls in the Palmetto State, a state that he must win to stay relevant in the race. Biden holds strong support among African Americans who traditionally vote in large numbers in the South Carolina primary. However, Sanders may receive a bump in the polls following his Nevada victory.
Super Tuesday looms large. On March 3rd, 16 states are up for grabs, including high-delegate states like California and Texas. The latest polls have Sanders leading in California. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent over $300 million on campaign ads across the Super Tuesday states and has shot up the polls, however, he had a widely panned performance in last week’s debate. He performed much better in the second half of that debate and needs to replicate that at Tuesday’s debate in South Carolina if he even wants to make it to.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are all but dead in the water following Nevada. None of them have a viable way forward and they lack the national infrastructure of the top-tier candidates.
Back to the Nevada results. Bernie had a strong showing across all demographics. FiveThirtyEight reported the following demographic breakdown of the Nevada vote:
“Unlike in Iowa and New Hampshire, there aren’t really any qualifications or caveats about Sander’s victory here. Nevada is a diverse state, and Sanders did well among a broad array of demographic groups, including winning 53 percent of Hispanics and 27 percent of African Americans, according to the entrance poll. This is a pretty good electorate for Sanders: young, working-class, unionized, heavily Hispanic. But he’s also worked hard to cultivate support from those groups of voters—Hispanic voters weren’t a major strength of his in 2016 for example. Perhaps fortunately for him, there are also plenty of these types of voters in the two biggest delegate prizes on Super Tuesday, California and Texas.”
Real Clear Politics has Sanders up nationally by 12 points over Biden and 14 over Bloomberg. Biden still leads narrowly over Sanders in South Carolina, but Bernie is way ahead in California and maintains a narrow lead in Texas and North Carolina.
The stage is set for South Carolina and next week’s Super Tuesday. If Bernie performs strongly in these two elections, it could be over for his fellow candidates. He might garner an insurmountable lead, forcing them to drop out.
The Democrats would be that much closer to nominating an avowed socialist for president.
That’s a chilling proposition that should strike terror into the heart of every single American.