February 21, 2016
Bernie Sanders Lost Nevada But Could Sweep Rest Of Caucus States, Says Nate Silver


Vermont senator Bernie Sanders may have lost Nevada to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but he may very well sweep the remaining caucus states.

Nate Silver, the statistician behind the famed FiveThirtyEight blog who predicts election wins with almost unerring accuracy, claims that Sanders has the ability to win every state caucus held after Nevada, and that Sanders' loss in that state may be the beginning of a big winning streak for him in the remaining caucuses.

"While Clinton has won the first two caucuses in the Democratic race — while losing New Hampshire, the only primary -- it's possible that Bernie Sanders will win every state caucus from here on out.

Here's why I say that. The remaining Democratic states to hold caucuses are: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington and Wyoming. Other than Hawaii -- where I'm not going to pretend we have any earthly idea what's going to happen -- those are a bunch of really white states that otherwise look favorable for Sanders and which he could win even if he slightly trails Clinton nationally."

The remaining caucus states are, simply put, whiter than Nevada, and Sanders does much better when the electorate is predominately white and liberal. Further contributing to the potential staying power of Bernie Sanders is that Clinton's wins in both Nevada and Iowa were very narrow.

The next two states to caucus are Colorado and Minnesota, with both states set to vote on Super Tuesday. Most recently, polls coming out of Colorado show that Sanders has managed to pull out ahead of Hillary Clinton, who once held a double-digit lead in that state. The Washington Free Beacon poll reported Sanders holding 49 percent of support, compared to Clinton's 43 percent.

Bernie Sanders loses Nevada, may sweep remaining caucus states.
Sanders may follow narrow loss in Nevada with complete sweep of remaining caucus states. [Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]Early polls coming out of Minnesota showed Clinton holding a strong lead over Sanders, but no data has been released since mid-January. Sanders' campaign director in Minnesota recently told CBS that the senator feels confident that he can win in Minnesota.

The Sanders campaign has had his campaign office in St. Paul running since December. The campaign also has offices in Rochester, St. Cloud, Bloomington, and Minneapolis, as well as a "storefront" presence in Duluth.

"Minnesota is absolutely integral to our national strategy, so we plan to do well here," said Robert Dempsey, state director for Bernie Sanders.

According to Nate Silver, Sanders will also need a "big, blue finale" in order to clinch the Democratic nomination.

"With some exceptions — Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana will be interesting to watch -- the last quarter of the Democratic calendar mostly resides on the coasts. And there are some big prizes: New York, Pennsylvania and California foremost among them. All three offer advantages and disadvantages to each candidate. For instance, will California's left-wing politics, which help Sanders, prevail over its racially diverse population, which helps Clinton? Sanders probably needs at least two of the three states, and maybe all of them given Clinton's lead in superdelegates. A win in California on June 7 would also carry symbolic power, as it's the last state to vote, possibly allowing the winner to claim a mandate from the Democratic electorate."
The race for the Democratic nomination and, ultimately, the White House, is far from being over for the Vermont senator, and Sanders is looking at his narrow defeat in Nevada as a victory of sorts, saying that the narrow margin has made him certain "we're going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States" in July."Come-from-behind" wins in states like Colorado and Minnesota will undoubtedly invigorate Sanders' supporters and infuse the Sanders' campaign with both enthusiasm and cash, giving him just the momentum and staying power he may need to win the nomination.

[Photo by Alex Wong/Staff/Getty Images]