Projections: Bernie Sanders wins Nevada; Carson City caucuses draw nearly 1,000 Democrats in unofficial tally | NevadaAppeal.com

Projections: Bernie Sanders wins Nevada; Carson City caucuses draw nearly 1,000 Democrats in unofficial tally

By Geoff Dornan Gdornan@nevadaappeal.com
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., smiles during his campaign event in Carson City, Nev., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
AP | AP

Unofficial returns from Nevada by county in the Democratic caucuses for President

Carson City: 15 of 26 precincts reporting;

Sanders 58

Klobuchar 20

Biden 6

Buttigieg 18

Steyer 13

Warren 12

STATEWIDE RESULTS FROM The Associated Press

President Dem - Caucus

905 of 2,097 precincts - 43 percent

x-Bernie Sanders 3,200 - 47 percent

Joe Biden 1,415 - 21 percent

Pete Buttigieg 1,035 - 15 percent

Elizabeth Warren 648 - 9 percent

Amy Klobuchar 272 - 4 percent

Tom Steyer 255 - 4 percent

While final numbers won’t be available until they are totaled by party officials, an informal count indicates that just under 1,000 Democrats turned out to express their choice for the next president in Saturday’s Carson City caucuses.

An informal review of the scoring sheets from more than half the precincts indicated that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg were the most popular of the candidates, scoring well in nearly every precinct.

Businessman/philanthropist Tom Steyer did very well in several precincts as did Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Elizabeth Warren qualified for delegates in several precincts but didn’t do as well as many in the party expected.

Joe Biden, however, struggled, failing to qualify for delegates in a significant number of precincts.

How those performances translate into delegates is a mathematics problem for party leadership to sort out. Party officials have made it clear people shouldn’t expect results from the caucuses until Monday or later.

In the wake of the mess in Iowa, the Nevada party scrapped using a high-tech app that failed in that state. Each precinct captain was instead issued a secure iPad to report results.

Visits to the three Carson City sites found a relatively sparse turnout Saturday morning. Michael Greedy, in charge of the Carson Middle School site, said the reason is undoubtedly the high turnout in three days of early voting last weekend and Tuesday. In Carson City, 2,337 Democrats voted early. The statewide total was almost 75,000.

Greedy said well over 300 voters attended the Carson Middle School site.

Marty McGarry, First Vice Chair of the state party and manager of the Eagle Valley Middle School site, said that venue also had more than 300 attendees.

Pioneer High School had a significantly smaller turnout in part, Greedy said, because far fewer people even know how to find it.

Projections: Sanders wins Nevada caucus

LAS VEGAS (By The Associated Press) —Bernie Sanders scored a commanding victory in Nevada’s presidential caucuses, cementing his status as the Democrats’ national front-runner but escalating tensions over whether he’s too liberal to defeat President Donald Trump.

As Sanders celebrated Saturday night, Joe Biden was in second place with votes still being counted. Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren trailed further behind. They were all seeking any possible momentum heading into next-up South Carolina and then Super Tuesday on March 3.

Nevada’s caucuses were the first chance for White House hopefuls to demonstrate appeal to a diverse group of voters in a state far more representative of the country as a whole than Iowa and New Hampshire. Sanders, a 78-year Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist, won by rallying his fiercely loyal base and tapping into support from Nevada’s large Latino community.

In a show of confidence, Sanders left Nevada for Texas, which offers one of the biggest delegate troves in just 10 days on Super Tuesday.

“We are bringing our people together,“ he declared. “In Nevada we have just brought together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition which is not only going to win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country.”

Saturday’s win built on Sanders’ victory earlier this month in the New Hampshire primary. He essentially tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses with Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has sought to position himself as an ideological counter to Sanders’ unabashedly progressive politics.

But for all the energy and attention devoted to the first three states, they award only a tiny fraction of the delegates needed to capture the nomination. After South Carolina, the contest becomes national in scope, putting a premium on candidates who have the resources to compete in states as large as California and Texas.

While Sanders’ victory in Nevada encouraged his supporters, it only deepened concern among establishment-minded Democratic leaders who fear he is too extreme to defeat Trump. Sanders for decades has been calling for transformative policies to address inequities in politics and the economy, none bigger than his signature “Medicare for All” health care plan that would replace the private insurance system with a government-run universal program.

Trump gloated on social media, continuing his weeks-long push to sow discord between Sanders and his Democratic rivals.

“Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!”

Buttigieg congratulated Sanders, too, but then launched an aggressive verbal assault on the senator as too divisive.

“Before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let’s take a sober look at what is 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 leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.”

For Biden, a second place finish in Nevada could be the lifeline he needed to convince skeptics he still has a path to the nomination as the primary moves to more diverse states. He took aim at Sanders and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who wasn’t on the Nevada ballot, but has emerged as a threat to Biden in contests that begin next month.

“I ain’t a socialist. I’m not a plutocrat. I’m a Democrat,” Biden declared.

Warren, who desperately needed a spark to revive her stalled bid, ignored Sanders and instead took a shot at Bloomberg’s height as she thanked Nevada “for keeping me in the fight.”

Rallying supporters in Seattle, she said she wanted to talk about “a big threat — not a tall one, but a big one: Michael Bloomberg.”

Also still in the fight: Billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent more than $12 million on Nevada television and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who hoped to prove her strong New Hampshire finish was no fluke.

Klobuchar, campaigning in her home state of Minnesota Saturday night, claimed Nevada success no matter her poor showing.

“As usual I think we have exceeded expectations,” she said.

The first presidential contest in the West tested the candidates’ strength with black and Latino voters for the first time in 2020. Nevada’s population aligns more with the U.S. as a whole, compared with Iowa and New Hampshire: 29% Latino, 10% black and 9% Asian American and Pacific Islander.

Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who dominated the political conversation this week after a poor debate-stage debut, wasn’t on the ballot. He’s betting everything on a series of delegate-rich states that begin voting next month.

Another reason for the lower than hoped for attendance is that the party’s materials spelling out the process didn’t inform voters that, while the three sites opened at 10 a.m., no one could enter and participate if they weren’t there by noon when the process of forming presidential preference groups began. A number of folks were turned away at each of the three sites.

McGarry said that and other glitches reported in the information on the website will be dealt with when officials conduct their review of how things went.

McGarry said there were also several precinct captains who had to call the party hotline to sort out disagreements in how to calculate which candidates qualified for at least one delegate. Greedy said several precincts at Carson Middle School had similar confusion, especially in applying the math.

A mathematical formula will then calculate how many delegates to the county convention each of them gets. In Carson City, each of the 24 precincts has anywhere from five to 17 delegates to send to the county convention depending on the number of registered Democrats in that precinct.

Once the number of delegates for each presidential candidate is tallied, they will be forwarded to party officials ahead of the April 18 county conventions.