Sanders wins big in Nevada, vote count problems persist

As John reported below, Bernie Sanders is the blowout winner of the Nevada caucuses. It looks like Joe Biden will finish a distant second, with Pete Buttigieg third. However, it’s possible that Buttigieg will finish ahead of Biden.

Elizabeth Warren appears to be out of the money once again. In her speech, she congratulated Sanders and attacked Michael Bloomberg. She even ridiculed Bloomberg’s height.

Does Warren not realize that it’s Sanders, the frontrunner, not Bloomberg, she needs to beat? I think she does. She probably understands she has no shot at the nomination and can only play the spoiler, as Chris Christie did for Donald Trump. Maybe Warren wants to be Bernie’s running mate.

Tabulating and/or reporting the Nevada results seems to have proved challenging. In the words of the Washington Post, reports have only “slowly trickle[d] in.” The process isn’t a fiasco like Iowa was, but neither is it an advertisement for the competence of Democrats.

Indeed, Laura Bronner at FiveThirtyEight says it may be only Sanders’s large margin of victory that saves the Dems from being as embarrassed as they were in Iowa, where the race was very close. It may be a while before we have an accurate final vote count, but at least we already have a winner.

Sanders’s victory appears to have built on the Latino vote. But reports suggest that Sanders also did well with black voters. Biden may have done somewhat better in this respect, but the Vermont socialist seems to have held his own. This bodes well for Sanders in the upcoming South Carolina primary.

Buttigieg should be encouraged by his Nevada showing, whether he ends up in second place or third. Nevada never seemed particularly promising for him, yet he once again finished (we think) in the money.

South Carolina may be an even bigger challenge for Buttigieg because he doesn’t seem to have connected with black voters. But if the South Bend mayor manages another top three finish in South Carolina, and if Biden doesn’t win there, he will likely emerge as the candidate with the best chance of stopping Sanders. (Bloomberg might still be that candidate, but after his debate performance it’s very questionable that he is.)

Right now, though, I’m doubting that any Democrat can stop Sanders.

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