BHernie Sanders scored a massive victory in Nevada’s presidential caucus on Saturday, consolidating his status as national leader of the Democrats but increasing tensions over whether he is too liberal to defeat President Donald Trump.
While Sanders was celebrating, Joe Biden was in second place with the votes still counted. Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren have fallen far behind. They were all looking for a possible impetus for next South Carolina this Saturday and then the Super Tuesday of March 3.
The Nevada caucuses were the first occasion for the promoters of the White House to demonstrate appeal to a diverse group of voters in a much more representative state of the country as a whole than in Iowa and New Hampshire. Sanders, a 78-year-old Vermont senator and self-described Socialist Democrat, won by rallying his fiercely loyal base and leveraging the support of Nevada’s vast Latin American community.
In a show of confidence, Sanders left Nevada for Texas, which offers one of the largest delegate finds in just 10 days on Super Tuesday.
“We are bringing our people together,” he said. “In Nevada we have just assembled a multigenerational and multiracial coalition that will not only win in Nevada, it will sweep this country.”
Saturday’s victory built on Sanders’ victory earlier this month in the New Hampshire primaries. He essentially tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses with Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, India, who sought to position himself as an ideological counterweight to Sanders’ shamelessly progressive politics.
But for all the energy and attention devoted to the first three states, they reward only a small part of the delegates necessary to capture the nomination. After South Carolina, the competition becomes nationwide, awarding a prize to candidates who have the resources to compete in large states such as California and Texas.
While Sanders’ victory in Nevada has encouraged his supporters, it has only increased concern among establishment-oriented democratic leaders who fear it is too extreme to defeat Trump. For decades Sanders has been calling for transformation policies to address inequalities in politics and economics, nothing greater than his “Medicare for All” health care plan that will replace the private insurance system with a universal government-run program.
Trump was gloating on social media, continuing his weeks push to sow discord between Sanders and his democratic rivals.
“Crazy Bernie appears to be doing well in the Greater State of Nevada. Biden and the others seem weak, “tweeted Trump.” Congratulations Bernie, and don’t let them take you away! “
Buttigieg also congratulated Sanders, but then launched an aggressive verbal attack on the senator as too divisive.
“Before we rush to appoint Senator Sanders in our one shot to hire this president, let’s take a sober look at what’s at stake for our party, for our values and for those with so much to lose,” he said. . “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible ideological revolution that excludes most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.”
For Biden, a second place in Nevada could be the lifeline he needed to convince skeptics that he still has a path to nomination as the primaries move to more different states. He targeted Sanders and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who was not taking part in the vote in Nevada, but has emerged as a threat to Biden in the contests that begin next month.
“I am not a socialist. I am not a plutocrat. I am a democrat,” said Biden.
Warren, who desperately needed a spark to revive his blocked offer, ignored Sanders and instead took a shot at Bloomberg’s height as he thanked Nevada “for keeping me in the fight”.
Gathering supporters in Seattle, he said he wanted to talk about “a great threat – not high, but great: Michael Bloomberg”.
Still fighting: billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent more than $ 12 million on Nevada television and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, who hoped to prove that his strong New Hampshire milestone was not a fluke.
Klobuchar, campaigning in his hometown of Minnesota on Saturday night, claimed responsibility for Nevada’s success, regardless of his poor performance.
“As usual, I think we have exceeded expectations,” he said.
The first presidential competition in the West tested the strength of candidates with black and Latin voters for the first time in 2020. Nevada’s population aligns more with the United States as a whole than Iowa and New Hampshire: 29 % in Latin, 10% in black and 9 percent American Asian and Pacific islands.
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