Sanders has received 46 percent of the vote in the state, walking away with at least 10 of Nevada’s 36 pledged delegates with 60 percent of precincts tallied up thus far.
Former Vice President Joe Biden trails far behind in second place with around 20 percent of the votes.
According to a voting analysis by the New York Times, the senator’s victory in Nevada was strong in Clark County, the home of Las Vegas, while he was outperformed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a few of the rural counties in the state.
“We won the popular vote in Iowa,” said Sanders at a rally in San Antonio yesterday. “We won the New Hampshire primary. And according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus.
Sanders’ announcement was punctuated with cheers from the crowd and chanting of “Bernie.”
“Let me thank the people of Nevada for their support,” he continued as the chanting of the crowd died down. “In Nevada we have just put together a multi-generation, multi-racial coalition which is going to not only win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country.”
According to a report from Politico, some in the Democratic Party have expressed profanity-laced concerns about how a national win in the primary for the self-avowed socialist would be a disaster for the party.
“There is overall uncertainty which is growing. The real fear for Texas D’s remains Sanders,” said one Texas lobbyist according to the publication.
Part of that uncertainty undoubtedly comes from Sanders’ extreme policy positions, such as his proposed executive order to ban the exports of crude oil. There are well over 400,000 oil and gas workers in Texas whose jobs and livelihoods would be affected by such a policy.
Of course, that hasn’t kept him from claiming that he’s on his path to victory in the Lone Star State.
“Don’t tell anybody, I don’t want to get them nervous,” said Sanders at the San Antonio rally, “we are going to win the Democratic primary in Texas.”
It will still be an uphill battle for the Vermont senator to win the Democratic nomination, though.
In order to win outright — without having a brokered convention where 771 unpledged superdelegates (e.g. Democratic members of Congress, party leaders, etc.) can vote — he needs to receive 1,990 or more pledged delegates out of a total 3,979.
Since multiple major candidates will still be in the race on March 3, also called Super Tuesday because about a third of the pledged delegates will be decided on that day, it’s unlikely that any single candidate will win a majority of pledged delegates.
When asked during the last debate if they think the person who wins the popular vote should be elected as the nominee, only Sanders agreed.
All other major candidates in the race thought that the process involving the superdelegates making their own decisions should be followed.
Earlier this year, an undercover recording showed a Sanders campaign field director saying that if the senator didn’t win the nomination, “Milwaukee will burn.”
Whether his claim will prove to be true literally or figuratively, the Democratic presidential primary leading up to the party’s convention in Milwaukee is poised to be divisive.
Total Pledged Delegates Count as of February 23, 2020
- Sanders: 34
- Buttigieg: 23
- Warren: 8
- Klobuchar: 7
- Biden: 6
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.