In 2008, 117,600 people participated in the Nevada Democratic caucuses. This year, only 80,000 participated, which is a drastic reduction from eight years ago. Bernie Sanders has always claimed that higher voter turnout will benefit him, and perhaps in this case, he was right. As Hillary Clinton edged him out 53 percent to 47 percent, it became clear that the lower turnout partly contributed to his loss.
During a Meet the Press interview with Chuck Todd, the Vermont senator admitted that he did not perform as well as he’d hoped.
“What I’ve said over and over again, we will do well when young people, when working-class people come out.”
WIth her win, Hillary Clinton wins 19 delegates. Bernie Sanders, though, still won 15 delegates.
Although eight years in the past, Obama’s 2008 loss in the state reminds Sanders supporters that although not a victory, there is still hope for the campaign to overcome the hurdle. It is especially important that Bernie connect with voters in South Carolina, where Clinton’s lead remains secure.
Inexplicably, Bernie Sanders attracts large crowds for his rallies, does well in the polls, but just isn’t bringing out voters, many of whom are young and working-class. His loss in Nevada highlights the urgency that complacency cannot win elections. If Sanders is to win among the demographic that loves him most, then they must turn out in droves to vote for him. They cannot sit at home and cross their fingers, hoping for a win.
Because of the lower turnout, Rolling Stone reports, those who did vote were older. Only 37 percent of voters were under the age of 45. If the trend continues throughout the primary season, Bernie Sanders will likely lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
And yet, there is still a positive aspect to be gleaned from his loss on Saturday. Bernie emphasized how far his campaign has come in just a few weeks when the first polls in Nevada came out. During his concession speech, he remained hopeful that he can pull off significant wins in the coming weeks.
“Five weeks ago, we were 25 points behind in the polls, and we have made some real progress. In a short while I’ll be on a plane to South Carolina, and then we’re going to be competing in 11 states all across this country on Super Tuesday.”
Bernie also noted the momentum his campaign has gained among other minority groups, namely, Hispanic and Latino voters.
“The wind is at our backs. We have the momentum. And I believe that when Democrats assemble in Philadelphia in july at that convention we are going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States.”
When Bernie Sanders appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning, he denied plans to skip South Carolina, noting that he was speaking John Dickerson from the state capitol of Columbia.
“I’m talking to you from Columbia, South Carolina, we have a major rally this evening. We’re not skipping over anything. But I think that after South Carolina, we have 11 states; we stand a god chance of winning a number of those states. We think we have a whole lot of momentum.”
This campaign is gaining momentum because we are listening to the pain of the people. They want real change! pic.twitter.com/smwQX59qsO
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 20, 2016
He also mentioned that the divide voters doesn’t appear to be racial so much as generational. Younger voters by and large tend to favor Sanders, whereas those over the age of 45 tend to prefer Clinton.
Sanders remains optimistic despite Clinton’s glaring lead in the state, where she holds a significant advantage with black voters. Her lead is currently 24 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average.
After South Carolina comes the moment of truth. Super Tuesday states are scattered throughout the United States and reflect the wide diversity of voters throughout the nation. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]