2020 Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses

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2020 Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses

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48 Democratic National Convention delegates (36 pledged, 12 unpledged)
The number of pledged delegates won is determined by the number of county convention delegates (CCDs) won[a]
  Bernie Sanders March 2020 (cropped).jpg Joe Biden February 2020 crop.jpg
Candidate Bernie Sanders Joe Biden
Home state Vermont Delaware
Delegate count 24 9
First vote 35,652
(34.0%)
18,424
(17.6%)
Final vote[b] 41,075
(40.5%)
19,179
(18.9%)
CCDs[c] 6,788
(46.8%)
2,927
(20.2%)

  Pete Buttigieg by Gage Skidmore 2 (cropped).jpg Elizabeth Warren by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Candidate Pete Buttigieg Elizabeth Warren
Home state Indiana Massachusetts
Delegate count 3 0
First vote 16,102
(15.4%)
13,438
(12.8%)
Final vote[b] 17,598
(17.3%)
11,703
(11.5%)
CCDs[c] 2,073
(14.3%)
1,406
(9.7%)

Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses election results by county (first alignment), 2020.svg
Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses election results by county (final alignment), 2020.svg
Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses election results by congressional district, 2020.svg
Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses election results by county (delegates), 2020.svg
  Bernie Sanders
  Pete Buttigieg
  Tom Steyer
  Tie

The 2020 Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses took place in Nevada, United States, on February 22, 2020, with early voting on February 14–18, and was the third nominating contest in the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 presidential election, following the New Hampshire primary the week before. The Nevada caucuses are a closed caucus, meaning that only registered Democrats could vote in this caucus. The state awarded 48 delegates towards the 2020 Democratic National Convention, of which 36 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the caucuses.

Bernie Sanders won the caucuses by a substantial margin, with Joe Biden coming in second and Pete Buttigieg in third; no other candidate crossed the 15% vote threshold statewide.[1] Of the 104,883 votes, more than 70,000 were cast early with ranked choice voting ballots.[2]

Procedure[edit]

Delegate allocation[3][4]
Type Del.
CD1 5
CD2 6
CD3 6
CD4 6
PLEO 5
At-large 8
Pledged total 36

Caucus votes were initially slated to be counted on the Shadow app that caused significant problems during the counting of 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses. As a consequence of those difficulties, the caucuses instead used Google Forms running on 2,000 iPads to send in results.[5] Some volunteers believed there was a lack of training on the iPads, which could result in malfunctions.[6] Early voting for the caucuses took place from February 15 to 18. In addition to Google Forms, early voters filled out a paper ballot that required them to rank candidates according to preference.[7] Early voting ballots would only be counted if voters rank at least three candidates, and were transmitted to voter's home precincts to be counted alongside election day votes.[8]

Precinct caucuses were held starting at 10:00 a.m. local time (PST), with voting starting at noon on February 22. In the closed caucuses, candidates must meet a 15% viability threshold within an individual precinct in order to be considered viable and 15% at the congressional district or statewide level, with supporters of non-viable candidates at precinct caucuses then allowed to support one of the remaining viable candidates. Of the 36 pledged delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, 23 are allocated on the basis of the results of the precinct caucuses, with between 5 and 6 allocated to each of the state's four congressional districts. The precinct caucuses also elect delegates to county conventions based on the results of the vote in each precinct. Of the remaining 13 pledged delegates, another 5 will be allocated to party leaders and elected officials (PLEO delegates) in addition to 8 at-large pledged delegates, and delegates to the national convention will be distributed proportionally based on the number of county delegates.[4]

The county conventions will subsequently be held on April 18, 2020, to choose delegates for the state Democratic convention. On May 30, 2020, the state Democratic convention will meet to vote on the unpledged delegates to send to the Democratic National Convention. The 36 pledged delegates Nevada sends to the national convention will be joined by 12 unpledged PLEO delegates (five members of the Democratic National Committee, five members of Congress, of which two are Senators and three are U.S. Representatives, one governor, and one distinguished party leader). These delegate totals do not account for pledged delegate bonuses or penalties from timing or clustering.[4]

On March 20, 2019, the Nevada Democratic Party released its 2020 delegate selection plan, introducing four days for early voting from February 15 to 18, 2020, and, like the Iowa caucuses, "virtual caucuses" on February 16 and 17 to allow those unable to physically attend to vote in addition to releasing raw vote totals. In both cases, caucusgoers' ranked presidential preferences will be sent to their precinct and counted on the day of the physical caucus. After county conventions following the previous caucuses left open the risk of a candidate winning a majority of delegates at the state conventions despite trailing among district delegates, all unpledged delegates will now be allocated on the basis of the results of the precinct caucuses on February 22.[9]

In late August 2019, the Democratic National Committee ordered both the Iowa and Nevada Democratic state parties to scrap their plans for "virtual caucuses" because of security concerns.[10]

Candidates[edit]

In order to get on the "caucus preference card" (ballot), candidates had to file with the State committee and pay a $2,500 fee by New Year's Day 2020. The following candidates qualified:[11]

There is also an uncommitted option on the ballot.[12]

Campaign[edit]

Twenty-three candidates visited the state during 2019. The largest event of that year was the November 17 "First in the West" "cattle call", which was attended by fourteen candidates.[13]

For a second caucus in a row, the Culinary Workers Union declined to endorse a candidate.[14] This came after it circulated a flyer among members criticizing Sanders and Warren's support for single-payer healthcare, which it argued would leave members with worse benefits.[15] The Las Vegas Sun endorsed both Klobuchar and Biden, saying that they think nominating Sanders "guarantees a Trump second term."[16]

The following was spent on television advertising:[17]

  • Tom Steyer: $13.55 million
  • Bernie Sanders: $1.54 million
  • Elizabeth Warren: $1.51 million
  • Pete Buttigieg: $1.26 million
  • Joe Biden: $1.16 million
  • Amy Klobuchar: $838,740

Even though the Republican caucus was canceled, President Trump held several campaign events in Nevada anyway.[18][19]

February 14–18 primary[edit]

With encouragement from the remaining campaigns, the five-day early voting began on February 14. Hundreds of polling places were open throughout the state, with candidate events taking place near to them.[20][21] Turnout was large, with close to 12,000 showing up the first day[22] and greater numbers over the weekend, February 15–16. It was estimated that up to 60% of all participants would vote early[23] and 77,000 voters took the opportunity to do so.[24] As approximately 84,000 voters voted in the caucus in 2016, and approximately 110,000 voters voted in 2008, this put the trajectory for voter turn out in the 2020 caucus above 2016 and near 2008.[25]

Early voters who did not fill out at least a first-choice, second-choice and third-choice ballot oval would not have their votes counted, creating concerns of lost votes, but this rule ultimately affected few voters.[26][27]

February 19–22 caucus[edit]

With the early voting phase over, the ninth official debate between the candidates on the ballot took place on February 19.[28] Steyer, who was in double digits in several polls in Nevada, did not qualify for the debate,[29] while Michael Bloomberg, who was not on the ballot, did.[30]

The doors opened for the caucus at 9 AM PST and the caucus itself an hour later. There was controversy about the NDAs that the people working at the caucuses were made to sign.[31] Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy stated that signing the non-disclosure agreements was voluntary, but this was disputed. Several people quit rather than doing so.[32]

Polling[edit]

Polling aggregation
Source of poll aggregation Date
updated
Dates
polled
Bernie
Sanders
Joe
Biden
Pete
Buttigieg
Elizabeth
Warren
Tom
Steyer
Amy
Klobuchar
Others Undecided[d]
270 to Win Feb 21, 2020 Feb 14–21, 2020 30.0% 16.7% 14.0% 13.7% 9.7% 9.7% 1.3%[e] 4.9%
RealClear Politics Feb 21, 2020 Feb 19–21, 2020 32.5% 16.0% 16.0% 14.0% 9.0% 9.5% 2.0%[f] 1.0%
FiveThirtyEight Feb 21, 2020 until Feb 21, 2020[g] 30.5% 14.4% 15.3% 11.8% 10.2% 8.9% 11.0%[h] [i]
Average 31.0% 15.7% 15.1% 13.2% 9.6% 9.4% 4.7%[j] 2.0%
Nevada caucus results, first alignment (February 22, 2020) 34.0% 17.6% 15.4% 12.8% 9.1% 9.6% 1.5%[k]
   – Debate qualifying poll as designated by the Democratic National Committee
Tabulation of individual polls of the 2020 Nevada Democratic Caucus
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[l]
Margin
of error
Joe
Biden
Cory
Booker
Pete
Buttigieg
Kamala
Harris
Amy
Klobuchar
Beto
O'Rourke
Bernie
Sanders
Tom
Steyer
Elizabeth
Warren
Andrew
Yang
Other Undecided
Nevada caucuses (first alignment vote) Feb 22, 2020 17.6% 15.4% 9.6% 34% 9.1% 12.8% 0.6% 1%[m]
Data for Progress[1][n] Feb 19–21, 2020 1010 (LV) ± 2.8% 16% 15% 8% 35% 8% 16% 2%[o]
AtlasIntel Feb 19–21, 2020 517 (LV) ± 4.0% 11% 14% 5% 38% 11% 9% 7%[p] 5%
Emerson College Feb 19–20, 2020 425 (LV) ± 4.7% 16% 17% 11% 30% 10% 12% 4%[q]
Feb 15–18, 2020 Early voting occurred in the Nevada caucuses[33]
Point Blank Political Feb 13-15, 2020 256 (LV) ± 5.6% 14.3% 12.6% 15.6% 13% 18.6% 7.1% 1.7%[r] 17.1%
Beacon Research/Tom Steyer Feb 12–15, 2020 600 (LV) 19% 13% 7% 24% 18% 10% 4%[s] 6%
Data for Progress[2][t] Feb 12–15, 2020 766 (LV) ± 3.4% 14% 15% 9% 35% 10% 16% 2%[u]
WPA Intelligence/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AARP Nevada Feb 11–13, 2020 413 (LV) ± 4.8% 18% 10% 10% 25% 11% 13% 5%[v] 8%
Feb 11, 2020 New Hampshire primary; Yang withdraws from the race after close of polls
Jan 13, 2020 Booker withdraws from the race
Suffolk University/USA Today[3] Jan 8–11, 2020 500 (LV) ± 4.4% 19% 2% 8% 4% 18% 8% 11% 4% 4%[w] 22%
MyersResearch/Strategic Services/Yang 2020[x] Jan 6–8, 2020 600 (LV) ± 4% 28% 2% 6% 29% 8% 14% 5% 2%[y] 4%
Fox News Jan 5–8, 2020 635 ± 4.0% 23% 3% 6% 2% 17% 12% 12% 4% 13%[z] 6%
Dec 3, 2019 Harris withdraws from the race
YouGov/CBS News Nov 6–13, 2019 708 (RV) ± 4.7% 33% 2% 9% 4% 2% 23% 2% 21% 1% 2%[aa]
Fox News Nov 10–13, 2019 627 ± 4.0% 24% 1% 8% 4% 2% 18% 5% 18% 3% 4%[ab] 10%
Emerson Polling Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2019 451 (LV) ± 4.6% 30% 1% 5% 5% 1% 19% 3% 22% 5% 10%[ac]
Mellman Group/The Nevada Independent Oct 28 – Nov 2, 2019 600 (LV) ± 4.0% 29% 1% 7% 3% 3% 0% 19% 4% 19% 3% 3%[ad] 9%
Nov 1, 2019 O'Rourke withdraws from the race
CNN/SSRS Sep 22–26, 2019 324 (LV) ± 7.1% 22% 2% 4% 5% 1% 0% 22% 4% 18% 3% 3%[ae] 13%
Suffolk University/USA Today Sep 19–23, 2019 500 (LV) 23% 2% 3% 4% 0% 1% 14% 3% 19% 3% 4%[af] 21%
YouGov/CBS News Aug 28 – Sep 4, 2019 563 (LV) ± 4.9% 27% 1% 4% 6% 0% 3% 29% 2% 18% 1% 9%[ag]
Gravis Marketing Aug 14–16, 2019 382 (RV) ± 5.0% 25% 3% 5% 9% 2% 0% 10% 6% 15% 2% 13%[ah] 9%
Change Research Aug 2–8, 2019 439 (LV) ± 4.7% 26% 0% 7% 10% 1% 2% 22% 3% 23% 1% 5%[ai]
Morning Consult Jul 1–21, 2019 749 (RV) ± 4.0% 29% 3% 6% 11% 1% 3% 23% 1% 12% 3% 10%[aj]
Jul 9, 2019 Steyer announces his candidacy
Monmouth University Jun 6–11, 2019 370 (LV) ± 5.1% 36% 2% 7% 6% 1% 2% 13% 19% 2% 3%[ak] 8%
Change Research May 9–12, 2019 389 (LV) 29% 2% 13% 11% 1% 4% 24% 12% 1% 4%[al]
Apr 25, 2019 Biden announces his candidacy
Apr 14, 2019 Buttigieg announces his candidacy
Emerson College Mar 28–30, 2019 310 (LV) ± 5.5% 26% 2% 5% 9% 2% 10% 23% 10% 3% 9%[am]

Results[edit]

popular vote
Final alignment popular vote share by county
county convention delegates
County convention delegates won by county
Final alignment popular vote share by congressional district

Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, with Joe Biden coming in second and Pete Buttigieg in third.[34]

2020 Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses[35][36][34][37]
Candidate First
alignment
Final
alignment[b]
County
convention
delegates[c]
Pledged
national
convention

delegates[a][38]
Votes % Votes % Number %
Bernie Sanders 35,652 34.0 41,075 40.5 6,788 46.8 24
Joe Biden 18,424 17.6 19,179 18.9 2,927 20.2 9
Pete Buttigieg 16,102 15.4 17,598 17.3 2,073 14.3 3
Elizabeth Warren 13,438 12.8 11,703 11.5 1,406 9.7 0
Tom Steyer 9,503 9.1 4,120 4.1 682 4.7 0
Amy Klobuchar 10,100 9.6 7,376 7.3 603 4.2 0
Tulsi Gabbard 353 0.3 32 0.0 4 0.0 0
Andrew Yang (withdrawn) 612 0.6 49 0.0 1 0.0 0
Michael Bennet (withdrawn) 140 0.1 36 0.0 0 0.0 0
Deval Patrick (withdrawn) 86 0.1 8 0.0 0 0.0 0
John Delaney (withdrawn) 1 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0
Uncommitted 472 0.4 367 0.4 7 0.0 0
Total 104,883 100 101,543 100 14,491 100 36

Delay[edit]

Similarly to the Iowa caucus, there were some controversies surrounding the outcome of the caucus. One day after voting, with forty percent of the precincts not reported, Pete Buttigieg questioned the results citing more than "200 reports of problems merging the early votes".[39][40] Full set of results were published two days after the caucus.[41]

Reports of "confusion, calculation glitches and delays in reporting" emerged once again, bringing into question the future of caucuses,[42] with former Nevada Senator Harry Reid calling for Nevada to switch to a primary system.[43]

Analysis[edit]

Participation in the 2020 caucuses (105,195 initial alignment votes in the official count)[44] was 25% higher compared to the approximately 84,000 people who participated in the 2016 caucuses, but 4% less compared to the approximately 110,000 voters who participated in the 2008 caucuses.[25]

Entrance polls by CNN indicated that Sanders won nearly every gender, race, age, and education demographic group, except for African-Americans and voters over 65, where Biden won 38–28 and 29–12 respectively. He performed extremely well among younger voters, capturing 65% of voters in the 17–29 demographic and 56% of voters under 45 overall, showcasing his overwhelming strength with the youth vote. In terms of ideological preference, Sanders won handily among voters who identified as liberal (50%) and somewhat liberal (29%), whereas Biden won over moderate voters (25%). Sanders also won the state's population center of Clark County, which constituted 70% of all caucusgoers, with 49% of the vote.[45] In a break with Culinary Workers Union leadership who had previously come out against Sanders's Medicare for All plan, Sanders won several caucus precincts along the Las Vegas Strip, home to many hotel and casino workers who are members of the union.[46]

Sanders's landslide victory has been attributed in part to his intentional outreach to Latino communities coordinated by staff member Chuck Rocha, resulting in winning 53% of Latino voters,[47] who make up about 30% of Nevada's population.[48] Under Rocha's direction, the Sanders campaign focused heavily on mobilizing Latino voters, a historically low-turnout demographic group, by hiring 76 Latino staffers and spending over $3 million on Spanish-language advertising specifically crafted to cater to Latino issues in the Silver State.[49]

Sanders's substantial margin of victory in Nevada, the first early state with a diverse electorate, helped ease concerns that his campaign had limited appeal among voters of color, as was the case in 2016. These concerns would arise again for Sanders when Joe Biden went on to win South Carolina, a state where 60% of the Democratic electorate is African-American, by a large margin.[50]

For Biden, his distant second place finish in Nevada helped allay fears of a faltering campaign after two underwhelming results in Iowa and New Hampshire. With South Carolina being the next state to hold a primary, it would be this state that would make or break his campaign - or one that would cement Bernie Sanders' status as a frontrunner. [51]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The number of "pledged national convention delegates" is determined proportionally to the presidential candidate's total number of CCDs won statewide and in each of the state's four congressional districts; but only for those presidential candidates who manage to qualify by winning at least a 15% share of the CCDs:
    • Either statewide (which may result in PLEO/at-large elected pledged national convention delegates)
    • Or in one of the four specific districts (which will result in a number of congressional district elected pledged national convention delegates).
    All presidential candidates winning less than a 15% share of CCDs statewide and in CD1, CD2, CD3, CD4, will win 0 pledged national convention delegates. Due to the fact that the pledged delegates are allocated according to the CCD-result from each of the 6 specific election races of the caucus (mentioned above), it is possible for a candidate to win the highest statewide CCD count without necessarily also winning the highest overall amount of pledged national convention delegates.[4]
    For example, Barack Obama won more pledged national convention delegates compared to Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Nevada Democratic caucuses, despite the fact that Clinton had won a higher CCD statewide total than Obama.
  2. ^ a b Vote count after votes for candidates who did not get at least 15% of the vote in that precinct are reallocated to the voter's second choice.
  3. ^ a b County convention delegates (CCDs) are used to calculate how many pledged national convention delegates each candidate win statewide and in the state's four congressional districts.
  4. ^ Calculated by taking the difference of 100% and all other candidates combined
  5. ^ Gabbard with 1.3%; Bloomberg not reported
  6. ^ Gabbard with 2.0%; Bloomberg not reported
  7. ^ FiveThirtyEight aggregates polls with a trendline regression of polls rather than a strict average of recent polls.
  8. ^ Bloomberg with 9.1%; Gabbard with 1.9%
  9. ^ Individual candidate numbers add up to more than 100%
  10. ^ Bloomberg with 3.0%; Gabbard with 1.7%
  11. ^ Uncommitted with 0.4%; Gabbard with 0.3%; Yang with 0.6%; Bennet and Patrick with 0.1%; Delaney with 0.0%
  12. ^ Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear
  13. ^ Uncomitted with 0.4%; Gabbard with 0.3%; Bennet and Delaney with 0.1%; Patrick with 0%
  14. ^ By the time of this poll, Data for Progress, which has worked with both the Sanders and Warren campaigns, had endorsed Warren
  15. ^ Gabbard with 2%
  16. ^ Gabbard with 3%; "other" with 4%
  17. ^ Gabbard with 2%; someone else with 2%
  18. ^ Gabbard with 1.7%
  19. ^ others with 4%
  20. ^ By the time of this poll, Data for Progress, which has worked with both the Sanders and Warren campaigns, had endorsed Warren
  21. ^ Gabbard with 2%
  22. ^ Gabbard with 0%; Other with 5%
  23. ^ Delaney and Gabbard with 1%; Patrick with 0%; Bennet and Williamson with no voters; other with 0%; refused with 2%
  24. ^ Sponsored by a presidential candidate's campaign
  25. ^ Gabbard with 1%; "someone else" with 1%
  26. ^ Bloomberg and Gabbard with 2%; Williamson with 1%; Bennet, Delaney, and Patrick with 0%; others with 0%; none with 8%
  27. ^ Castro with 1%; Bennet, Bullock, Delaney, Gabbard, Messam, Sestak, and Williamson with 0%; "Someone else" with 1%
  28. ^ Gabbard with 2%; Castro with 1%; Bennet, Bullock, Delaney, Messam, Sestak and Williamson with 0%; others with 1%; none with 2%
  29. ^ Bennet, Castro, and Gabbard with 1%; Bullock, Delaney, Sestak and Williamson with 0%; someone else with 7%
  30. ^ Castro, Gabbard and Williamson with 1%; Bennet, Bullock, Delaney and Sestak with 0%
  31. ^ Gabbard, Ryan, and Williamson with 1%; Bennet, Bullock, Castro, Delaney, and Sestak with 0%
  32. ^ Bennet, Bullock, Castro and Gabbard with 1%; de Blasio, Delaney, Messam, Ryan, Sestak and Williamson with 0%; "refused" with 1%
  33. ^ Castro with 2%; de Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Ryan, and Sestak with 1%; Bennet, Bullock, Messam, and Williamson with 0%; others with 2%
  34. ^ Bennet, de Blasio, and Gabbard with 2%; Bullock, Castro, Delaney, Gillibrand, Inslee, Ryan, and Williamson with 1%
  35. ^ Castro, Gabbard, Gillibrand, and Inslee with 1%; Bennet, Booker, Bullock, Hickenlooper, and Williamson with 0%
  36. ^ Castro with 2%; Bullock, de Blasio, and Ryan with 1%; others with 4%
  37. ^ Castro, Gabbard, and Williamson with 1%; Bullock, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Messam, and Ryan with <1%; Bennet, de Blasio, Delaney, Gillibrand, Gravel, Moulton, and Swalwell with 0%
  38. ^ Abrams, Castro, Gabbard, and Swalwell with 1%; Gillibrand, Hickenlooper, Inslee, and Ryan with 0%
  39. ^ Gabbard with 2%; Castro and Gillibrand with 1%; Hickenlooper and Inslee with 0%; others with 6%

References[edit]

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