Sanders keeps string of victories alive with big win in Nevada

The Associated Press projected Sen. Bernie Sanders as the winner of Nevada’s Democratic caucuses, the third popular vote victory in as many primary contests by the race’s current frontrunner.

The Sanders campaign has focused on Hispanic outreach, and per entrance polls, it worked in Nevada. CNN reported that 54 percent of Hispanic voters said they chose Sanders, with former Vice President Joe Biden a distant second at 13 percent. Those numbers are in line with a national Morning Consult poll released last week that showed Sanders with  the support of 48 percent of Hispanic Democrats.

Polling in the state had been sparse but multiple recent surveys showed Sanders with double-digit leads, after trailing Biden by nine points as recently as January 1, acccording to the Real Clear Politics polling average of Nevada. Four years ago, Sanders lost the state to Hillary Clinton by five percent, but this time around flooded the state with thousands of volunteers that the campaign said knocked on 500,000-plus doors.

Previously, Sanders won the popular votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, although former Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a slight delegate lead into Saturday. As caucus results were coming in, Sanders was holding an event in El Paso, Texas, sticking to his stump speech. He was scheduled for an event in San Antonio later Saturday evening, already turning his attention to the March 3 Super Tuesday states.

Last week, Sanders was drawn into a war of words with Nevada’s powerful culinary union, which represents thousands of Las Vegas hospitality workers. Local 226 sent out a flier to members stating that Sanders’s single-payer Medicare For All plan would end their union-provided health care. Sanders said his plan would assure coverage at least as good as what members have now. The union didn’t endorse an alternative, instead throwing their support behind their “goals.”

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Bernie Sanders and wife, Jane
Former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders hugs his wife Jane after making a motion to suspend the rules and nominate Hillary Clinton as the Demcoratic presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gets a kiss from his wife Jane as he addresses supporters following the closing of the polls in the California presidential primary in Santa Monica, California, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane wave to the audience during a rally in Vallejo, California, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
PORTSMOUTH, NH - With Jane Sanders, Democratic Presumptive Nominee for President former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Portsmouth High School Gymnasium in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jane O'Meara Sanders walks on the floor during the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders kisses his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, at a rally in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (C) hugs his wife Jane Sanders (L) while actress Susan Sarandon surveys the overflow room at a campaign rally in Fairfield, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' wife Jane (R) waves to the crowd as Sanders acknowledges her and his step daughters Carina (L) and Heather (C) as Sanders addresses his final campaign rally before the Iowa Caucus at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa January 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Jane Sanders, wife of Vermont Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, listens during an interview following a campaign event in Fort Madison, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. In advance of Monday's Iowa caucuses, the first electoral contest of the presidential primaries, Jane Sanders has ventured out often on her own, sometimes with multiple events the same day. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, walks with his wife Jane Sanders ahead of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. With Vice President Joe Biden officially out of the presidential race, the nation's first nominating contest between front-runner Hillary Clinton and Sanders is gaining steam, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 12: With his wife Jane O'Meara, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) prepares to speak at a Florence Town Hall Meeting in an arena in Florence, South Carolina on Saturday September 12, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Sanders won almost all of the casino sites, which are set up for the union members to vote during their Saturday shifts. CNN reported that caucus entrance polls showed 62 percent of Nevadans support Medicare For All and CBS News’ entrance poll showed Sanders winning more than a third of caucusgoers who identified themselves as living in a union household.

Nearly 75,000 people voted early, before Wednesday night’s debate. It was the first year the Silver State allowed early voting and the total nearly matched 2016’s total turnout of 84,000. On Saturday, the Nevada Democratic Party announced that more than 10,000 Nevadans had registered as Democrats during the early voting period. The amount of early voting that occurred before the debate might have hurt Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who turned in a strong performance and received a fundraising boost.

The Iowa debacle earlier this month provided a warning to Nevada Democrats, who ditched an app developed by the same company that created the Hawkeye State’s faulty reporting system and replaced it with 2,000 iPads equipped with Cisco Systems security software. National and local leaders lowered expectations earlier this week, declining to guarantee results on Saturday and stating that the most important thing was accuracy.

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