The Nevada caucus 2016 is here, and live results are available from a number of sources for those following the tight race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
After Hillary Clinton won a razor-thin close caucus in Iowa and Bernie Sanders responded with a resounding victory in New Hampshire, the races moves to Nevada on Saturday where the race is surrounded by a number of question marks. Nevada has very few polls compared to Iowa and New Hampshire, leaving an unclear picture about which candidate is leading. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that Nevada has only held caucuses since 2008, making it even more difficult to predict who will show up to the polls and who won’t.
“It’s a total mystery what’s going to happen,” Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison told Yahoo News. “The people who do this for a living are saying, ‘Who knows?'”
The latest polling from Nevada showed Clinton with a one point lead, but nationally Sanders has been gaining ground steadily. A new poll released Thursday by Fox News showed Sanders leading nationally for the first time, 47 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent.
“One thing that is clear from our poll — and others — is that Clinton has been losing support and Sanders has been gaining,” Democratic pollster Chris Anderson told Fox News. “And this process appears to have accelerated since the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.”
There are others who say that essentially all polling in Nevada is pointless, as the state has a population that does not lend well to traditional polls. Much of its population works at night, when casinos and other tourist attractions are at their peak, but polling often takes place during the day. That means the people home to take polls are largely whiter and older than the population as a while.
That was the case in 2008, when Hillary Clinton was polled at about 38 percent but ended up with 50 percent of the vote.
That makes the live results from the 2016 Nevada caucus something of a mystery, with no clear picture about who will take the lead or possibly make a late surge.
As the New York Times pointed, there could be some added drama for those following live results of the 2016 Nevada caucus. The Iowa caucus led to a handful of ties in precincts, with a coin toss determining the winner. Nevada has its own twist, and a very state-appropriate one.
“In the rare circumstances where two or more presidential preference groups are tied for the loss or gain of a precinct-level delegate and have the same lowest or highest decimal,” the state party says, “groups must draw a single card from a deck of cards to break the tie. High card determines the winner.”
There could be huge stakes for the 2016 Nevada caucus. With Sanders surging, a win could help him win over some of the more on-the-fence voters. That is especially important given the upcoming slate, which includes the heavily Clinton-leaning South Carolina. Sanders could have a chance to pick off some states on Super Tuesday, but would need to maintain what momentum he still has from winning in New Hampshire. A loss in Nevada, especially a larger one, could put that in jeopardy.
“Historically, lesser-known candidates beating establishment candidates in early contests have seen the biggest boost in their national support,” pollster Daron Shaw told Fox News.
[Picture by David Calvert/Getty Images]