Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Pulls Ahead in Nevada

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After three primary contests, Senator Bernie Sanders has started to pull away from the packed democratic presidential nominee field. Voters went to the polls on Saturday, February 22 and handed Sanders his second victory in the primaries. Capturing nearly 50% of the vote, Senator Sanders carried the day while former Vice-President Joe Biden came in a distant second place. Nevada is the second caucus to take place in the primary election season, but it is the first state that has a strong minority presence – mainly latin voters. 

Vice-President Biden secured his best primary performance so far, leapfrogging Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the delegate count. Biden is now third with a total of 15 delegates. Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a third place performance, his worst of the three contests that have taken place, with 14.3% of the vote in Nevada. Candidates Warren, Klobuchar, and Tom Styer all fell short of 10% and were awarded no delegates in the caucus. On the republican side of the ballot, no caucuses took place and all 25 delegates were awarded to the incumbent, President Trump. 

CandidateDelegatesVote CountPercentage
Bernie Sanders2441,07546.8%
Joe Biden919,17920.2%
Pete Buttigieg317,59814.3%
Elizabeth Warren011,7039.7%
Tom Styer04,1204.7%
Amy Klobuchar07,3764.2%

Source: Politico

Former Mayor and Businessman Michael Bloomberg is set to enter the democratic race on March 3 when voters in several states head to the polls on Super Tuesday. Before those contests get underway however, Bloomberg will have to sit on the sidelines when the South Carolina primary takes place on February 29, the fourth consecutive primary or caucus that he will miss. Bloomberg is betting on a stellar performance on Super Tuesday as more than 1,300 delegates are up for grabs from the packed democratic field. 

Democrats will face off in another debate on Tuesday, February 25 in Charleston, South Carolina in preparation for the weekend primary. Bloomberg will be on the stage as he has qualified for the debate, but he will not be on the ballot when voters head to the polls. 54 total delegates will be awarded on the first ballot for the democratic primary in South Carolina with Sanders and Biden being favored to win the state. 

With Senator Sanders declared victorious in New Hampshire and Nevada, he is sure to pick up momentum heading into South Carolina and the soon to follow Super Tuesday contests. For the moment, however, Sanders maintains a healthy lead in the early state delegate count with 45 total delegates. The chart below is an updated delegate tracker. 

CandidateDelegatesTotal Vote CountPercentage
Bernie Sanders45163,22530.2%
Pete Buttigieg25133,25024.6%
Joe Biden1567,79112.5%
Elizabeth Warren873,86113.7%
Amy Klobuchar787,35316.2%
Tom Styer015,2602.8%
CandidateDelegatesTotal Vote CountPercentage
Donald J. Trump*86161,16091.9%
Bill Weld114,2138.1%

Like Nevada, South Carolina will not hold a republican primary for the presidential race. Instead, delegates will be allocated before or during the nominating convention in August 2020. Aside from Sanders momentum in the democratic race, President Trump’s approval rating continues to increase, jumping nearly five percentage points since late-October 2019 according to Real Clear Politics poll averages. As of February 25, President Trump’s average approval sits at 46.3%, while some polls like Rasmussen show an even higher approval of 52%. 

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