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Dhaka Tribune

Bernie Sanders decisively wins Nevada caucuses

Sanders' triumph in the first racially diverse state suggests his unapologetic message of social and economic justice, including his signature pledge to provide universal healthcare for all Americans, is resonating with a broader coalition of Democratic voters

Update : 23 Feb 2020, 10:04 AM

Bernie Sanders strengthened his front-runner position for the Democratic presidential nomination with a decisive victory in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, while Joe Biden was on track for a second-place finish that would give his struggling campaign new hope.

A self-described democratic socialist, Sanders was backed by a diverse coalition of young and middle-aged voters, Latinos, union members and white college-educated women for the win in Nevada, according to Edison Research, showing signs of expanding support for his surging campaign beyond his longstanding core.

"We have put together a multi-generational, multiracial coalition that is going to not only win in Nevada, it's going to sweep the country," Sanders, a US senator from Vermont, told cheering supporters in San Antonio, Texas.

Biden, a former vice president, appeared to score a badly needed strong finish after poor showings in the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire for the party's nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.

Sanders' triumph in the first racially diverse state suggests his unapologetic message of social and economic justice, including his signature pledge to provide universal healthcare for all Americans, is resonating with a broader coalition of Democratic voters.

For Biden and other moderates who argue that Sanders is too liberal to beat Trump and who have been trying to blunt his momentum, however, the job has become much harder.

Sanders had 47% of the county convention delegates in Nevada with 50% of the precincts reported. Biden was a distant second to Sanders with 19%, but ahead of former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, in third place with 15%.

"The press is ready to declare people dead quickly, but we're alive and we're coming back and we're gonna win," Biden told supporters in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who had been looking to jump-start her campaign after poor finishes in the first two states, was again trailing in a disappointing fourth with more than 10% in Nevada, where voters poured into more than 250 sites around the state. Senator Amy Klobuchar and activist billionaire Tom Steyer were well back at around 4%.

Buttigieg cautioned Democrats about nominating Sanders, portraying him as an ideologue.

The race now begins to broaden across the country, with the next primary on February 29 in South Carolina, followed by the Super Tuesday contests in 14 states on March 3 that pick more than one-third of the pledged delegates who will help select a Democratic nominee.

The Super Tuesday states will bring former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has not been competing in the four early voting states but has been rising in opinion polls, into the race.

On Twitter, Trump appeared to be enjoying the Democratic race.

"Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike," Trump wrote, the last a reference to Bloomberg.

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