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Bernie’s Big Win in Nevada Leads Some To Wonder Whether He Can Be Stopped

February 23, 2020

Bernie Sanders rolled up a big victory in the Nevada caucuses Saturday.

With a little more than half the precincts reporting late Saturday, February 22, Sanders had more than 46 percent of the votes and a big lead in delegate equivalents.

No other candidate can take solace from the results. Joe Biden was in a distant second with 19 percent of the vote, and now must bet his whole campaign on the South Carolina primary on Saturday, February 29, where he hopes heavy support from blacks will give him a needed victory.

Pete Buttagieg came back down to earth after strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. He was in third, with 15 percent.

Elizabeth Warren came in a weak fourth, with 10 percent.

Amy Klobuchar had only 4.5 percent, and no one else had more than 1 percent.

Mike Bloomberg did not contest Nevada, and is betting his campaign on a strong showing on Super Tuesday, which is Tuesday, March 3. He is limping, after a brutal beatdown in the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday, February 19.

Results from Nevada were trickling in as of about 3 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday, February 23, but analysts were confident that Sanders would claim victory by a large amount. (Nevada vote counters were having trouble reporting results using jammed telephone lines.)

The final showing of Biden, Buttagieg, and Warren was less certain.

Some analysts are suggesting that Sanders, after narrowly winning the popular vote in Iowa and winning the New Hampshire primary outright, may have enough momentum that he can’t be caught.

Sanders is not popular among Democratic Party heavyweights worried that his socialist agenda would not play well in November against President Donald Trump. Some have floated the possibility that Sanders might end up winning the highest number of votes in the Democratic primaries without securing a majority of delegates, which could lead to a brokered convention leading to someone else winning the nomination on the second ballot or later.

While that possibility is talked about during every presidential election cycle, the last so-called brokered conventions took place in 1952, when neither eventual nominee got a majority of votes from delegates on the first ballot.

The last time a candidate entered a major party convention without a majority of delegates committed was 1984, but Walter Mondale easily won on the first ballot with the support of so-called superdelegates, which include elected officials and party officials who are not pledged to vote for a specific candidate.

Sanders has argued that the candidate who gets the highest number of votes during the primaries should be the candidate who wins the nomination, even if he doesn’t secure an outright majority of committed delegates before the convention.



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