Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and Chasten visit Revolution Taproom and Grill in Rochester, NH on Feb 4, 2020. Joined on stage by Shanika Amarakoon (Photo: Chuck Kennedy/PFA)

Dem candidates head west for battle in Nevada primary, Bernie and Pete the two to beat

3 mins read

Momentum slowly picks up for top Democratic contenders while others decide to drop out after a rough start in the primaries.

On Tuesday, the socialist-Democrat, Bernie Sanders edged out a lead from rising political notable, Pete Buttigieg in the New Hampshire caucus. Whereas, Sanders and Pete are in a close race, the moderate-Democrat, Amy Klobuchar, jumped over liberal stalwart, Elizabeth Warren, and into a comfortable third. But as some predicted, Joe Biden’s finish was somewhere with the guppies at the bottom of the political pond.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar speaking with supporters at a meet and greet at the Northside Cafe in Winterset, Iowa. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

The ending of New Hampshire was a sigh of shaky relief for candidates who endured a chaotic first primary in the Iowa Caucus. The app used to collect and count votes was reported to have malfunctioned, which caused a several-days delay. In turn, some, including the Democratic National Committee chair, Tom Perez, expressed disappointment in the fiasco, posting on Twitter that it “should never happen again.” However, the progressive arm of the party still expresses a host of frustrations with his leadership.

For the final results, Buttigieg eked out a delegate win, while Sanders came in a close second. Surprisingly, Biden moved to third and Warren fourth, while Klobuchar took fifth.

With New Hampshire behind them, there are several announcements of candidates leaving the race. Most of the remaining folk of color bowed out with the dropout announcements of Andrew Yang and Patrick Deval. Although, Tulsi Gabbard has not been very visible on the campaign trails, she still is going hard, and is the last representation of race diversity as a Hindu, Samoan-American from Hawaii. Gabbard announced that she will hold a town hall in Maine, a state holding its primaries on March 3.

Batting for a silver lining after a hard lesson

While Nevada caucuses for its primaries, Perez assured that the app used in Iowa would not be employed in the silver state. Said Perez:

It is clear that the app in question did not function adequately. It will not be used in Nevada or anywhere else during the primary election process. The technology vendor must provide absolute transparent accounting of what went wrong.

The only caucusing state to have early voting, some are worried that Nevada is ill-prepared for the large task. Concerns grew more as the Nevada State Democratic Party had to drastically change their voting protocol after the Iowa caucus debacle. However, they issued a statement to ensure that the they had other plans.

We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward.

As well, Nevada State Democratic Party stated in a tweet that the 2020 “caucus is going to be our most expansive, transparent, & accessible yet!”

Leading up to the primaries, they conducted a number of trainings in order to prepare volunteers. One group were young voters who  Nevada Dem Chair William McCurdy II said. “In 2018, Nevada saw an increase in turnout among teenage voters higher than the national average and we’re working to engage and turnout young voters again in 2020. From trainings and mock caucuses with our Young Dems to early vote and Caucus Day locations on campuses across the state, we’re working hard to ensure voices of all ages are heard in our First in the West Caucus.”

While Nevada works in the last minute to put on its early voting that starts on Saturday, February, 15, Buttigieg is working to make more inroads in the the midwest and south. This week, he secured the endorsement of the city council of Columbus, Ohio and is gunning for a strong finish in South Carolina.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo credit: George Skidmore.

Warren’s camp is attempting to hold on as it cuts advertising dollars from Nevada on the heels of six of Warren’s Nevada campaign workers alleging that they were used as racial props and tokens by senior members. Warren who was a strong favorite has seen her support slip and must do some serious re-strategizing to remain in a field growing more competitive.

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