Democrats Face an Important Test in Nevada Caucuses

Sanders has emerged as the current frontrunner

WBEN Newsroom
February 22, 2020 - 6:48 am

LAS VEGAS (AP/WBEN) — Presidential candidates made their last urgent pleas as Nevada Democrats prepared to weigh in on their party's presidential nomination fight.

Saturday's caucuses are the third contest in a 2020 primary season that has so far been marred by chaos and uncertainty in overwhelmingly white, rural states.

While state officials aren't promising they'll report results on Saturday, Nevada's first-in-the-West caucuses will test the candidates' strength with black and brown voters for the first time in 2020. The election comes at a critical moment for the Democratic Party as self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders emerges as the clear front-runner in the still-crowded field. 

Sanders comes into Nevada with momentum, having won the popular vote in Iowa and New Hampshire. UB professor James Campbell says Sanders currently has the most obvious path to the nomination, but it will be interesting to see what happens with the vote as candidates begin to drop out. He says if Elizabeth Warren were to drop out, then Sanders would likely see even more of those progressive votes, whereas if a moderate candidate such as Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar were to drop out soon, the other would likely receive a good portion of those votes.

"I think the race will really turn on how quickly some of the candidates drop out of the race," said Campbell. "At this point, I have to say that Sanders' prospects look pretty rosie, but a lot of this will come down to Super Tuesday, and I think we'll know a lot more about where Democrats are headed after that."

After Nevada, candidates will head for next Saturday's South Carolina primary with Super Tuesday taking place just three days later.

Listen to Campbell's full comments below:

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