After losing heavily in New Hampshire, the Clinton team was optimistic about Hillary’s chances in Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. They said Bernie Sanders would hit a firewall, built mainly around the Clinton’s appeal among non-white voters.
The Nevada result sent a mixed message to the Clinton camp. Yes they won and, yes, they got the bulks of the Black vote, but it seems Sanders
won a majority among the Hispanics
who attended the Democratic caucus. That was quite an achievement, which augers well for later contests in California and the south-west of the US.
In his concession speech
Sanders pointed out that momentum was still with his campaign. In only five weeks they’d narrowed the gap in Nevada from 25% behind Clinton to less than 6% on caucus night.
Sanders has been
expanding his national vote
, from around 30% (averaging the main polls) at the beginning of the year to 42% now. As he goes along he is sweeping thousands of young people into his campaign team.
Most of those
exit polled in Nevada
put Bernie well ahead of Hillary for “caring”, “honesty” and “trustfulness”. The main barrier to a bigger vote seemed to be his perceived lack of experience at a top level (compared to Hillary) and a fear he couldn’t prevail over a Republican candidate.
Yes, Clinton does have more experience at top level (such as at Secretary of State) but this cuts both ways. While many older voters might see this as a plus, many younger people see her ties with the establishment as a negative.
the polls show
Sanders has a better chance than Clinton against either Trump or Rubio – something many Democratic voters have not yet grasped.
The Sanders’ train his still picking up steam everywhere, and will probably make gains on Super Tuesday, March 1, when several states have their primaries. The results will be mixed. Super Tuesday might come too soon for the campaign to have had enough impact in Black communities despite Sanders’ policies (such as a $15 minimum wage and reform of the criminal justice system) being so relevant.