In Nevada, the polls put her neck and neck with Bernie Sanders. Whatever the result may be, the former first lady has already lost her luster.
The day before the Democratic caucus, things are heating up in Nevada, and it’s not because of the thermometer in this semi-desert state. According to a CNN survey, Hillary Clinton is drawing the support of 48 percent of those who intend to vote, neck and neck with Sanders at 47 percent. A month ago, nobody predicted such a close contest. Nevada was safely Clinton territory. She won the state in 2008 and was considered the favorite, taking into account her popularity with the unions, the African-American minority and especially with Latinos, who represent more than 17 percent of the electorate. According to her team, this western state would be a firewall, where Bernie Sanders, previously supported by a white electorate, would come undone.
However, it seems that the firewall did not work as well as it was hoped, even if the surveys are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Unlike Iowa or New Hampshire, there are very few of them, and the traditionally very mobile population of Nevada has the right to sign up for election lists on polling day, which means that making accurate predictions is complicated. On the Republican side, however, there is less suspense for the caucus, which will be held on Feb. 23. Donald Trump is on top with support from 45 percent of those who intend to vote, followed by the senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who are at 19 percent and 17 percent respectively.
Hillary’s Team Is Getting Nervous
In the Democratic camp, one thing is clear: As the elections approach, like in Iowa, Clinton has once again lost her head start. The proof of this is that her team appears more and more nervous and seems to be minimizing the importance of future results.
After his defeat by a hair’s breadth in Iowa and his stunning victory in New Hampshire, Sanders continues to be propelled by a massive following, made up of a significant amount of young people, as well as over the past few weeks, Latinos. According to the Pew Research Center, out of the 328,000 Latinos who were eligible to vote, 45 percent were between the ages of 18 and 30. This is quite an achievement for Sanders who is a virtual unknown in this state, unlike Clinton who is well known. And then, from the beginning, she spared no expense in opening her first campaign headquarters in April, six months before Sanders, and recruiting around 7,000 volunteers — 2,000 volunteers for her rival. As the fighting intensified, she launched a television advertisement in which she starred with a tearful 10-year-old girl who admits her terror at the idea of seeing her parents deported. “I’m going to do everything I can so you don’t have to be scared,” she tells the girl in a re-assuring tone of voice. Simultaneously, her team has also sent text messages accusing Sanders of being anti-Obama, while she and her supporters have strongly attacked him for his position on immigration, saying that he has never been interested in this issue and that he refused to vote for a reform in 2007.
The Culinary Workers Union Will Remain Neutral
Yet, the Vermont senator seems to have made up for lost time with a barrage of advertisements in English and Spanish with a skillful message. He describes himself as the son of an immigrant: “My father arrived in this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, without speaking English, and he never earned a lot of money,” he states. “But he was the proudest of Americans as he saw the chances and freedom that America gave to him and to his children.”*
The difference from 2008 is that the very influential Culinary Workers Union, which represents 57,000 employees, of which 50 percent are Latino, supported Barack Obama and mobilized its troops to go and vote for him. This year, however, it decided to remain neutral, which will reduce the turnout and perhaps reduce votes in favor of the former first lady. This is very bad news for her, as another defeat would be catastrophic, and would confirm her vulnerability and give a large additional boost to Sanders. And what about if we have to decide between the two Democrats if there is a tie? Don’t worry, everything has been planned. In Iowa in January, they played heads or tails to distribute delegates in at least seven voting offices. In Nevada, holding to local tradition, this will be resolved by playing cards! The candidate who picks the best card will win the additional delegate!
*Editor’s note: This quote, although accurately translated, could not be independently verified verbatim.
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