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Sanders cracks Clinton's Nevada firewall

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Lobo
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Sanders cracks Clinton's Nevada firewall

Post by Lobo on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 6:37 pm

Sanders cracks Clinton's Nevada firewall
Hillary Clinton has been vigilant but the state that was supposed to stop Bernie Sanders' momentum might be in play.

By Annie Karni

01/06/16 08:31 PM EST

Updated 01/07/16 12:49 AM EST




LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton has been on the ground in Nevada since last April. Bernie Sanders only began building up his organization here late in the fall.
But the state that’s been touted as Clinton’s firewall against the Vermont senator in the event he generates any momentum out of the whiter and more liberal states of Iowa and New Hampshire is suddenly looking like it’s in play, potentially opening another unexpected early state front.

Sanders is playing catchup — and fast.
He has now hired almost twice the number of staffers on the ground in Nevada — 40 to Clinton's 22, as of July. The campaign would not provide an updated number of paid staffers on the ground. And he has opened nine field offices across the state compared to Clinton’s six (the campaign said it is opening its seventh office, in Elko, on Thursday).
Sanders also has invested heavily in ad buys on English- and Spanish-language television and radio, spending $767,539 to date compared with Clinton's recent $162,490 ad buy.
Eight years ago, Nevada was also supposed to be Clinton’s firewall against Barack Obama. She won the popular vote here 51 percent to 45 percent, but Obama ended up taking home more delegates than Clinton and tainted what was supposed to have been a clean win for her.
Now, it is Sanders who is proving resilient as all three Democratic candidates descended on the MGM casino Wednesday night for a state party caucus dinner hosted by Sen. Harry Reid.
There, Clinton offered a hyper-local version of her stump speech, showing a mastery of local Nevada politics and issues. She went after Nevada’s Republican Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, “who seems to have made it his mission to tear apart hard working American families.” And she singled out Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy for saying “Mitt Romney was right about the 47 percent, and that people with disabilities are, and I quote him, are a drain on society.”
Clinton pitched herself as a candidate who is not only running for President, but “raising millions of dollars for our state parties to help you build the infrastructure you need,” a difference from Sanders. It was a strong pitch for a local crowd. . For his part, Sanders revved up a crowd who came equipped with ear-piercing vuvuzelas with his standard stump speech about a political revolution "against the billionaire class whose greed is destroying our economy." But he put no distinct local spin on his remarks.
But in recent days, Sanders has won over some of Clinton’s most stalwart supporters in the state. Erin Bilbray, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Nevada who was so loyal to Clinton in 2008 that she refused to support Obama at the convention, has endorsed the Vermont senator.
Bilbray said in October she was planning to support Clinton. But she changed her mind after a friend dragged her to an organizing meeting hosted by the Sanders campaign.
“I started getting more and more excited as I was watching his volunteers, how organized they were, how in the trenches they were,” she said. “His supporters here are passionate. The situation with super PACs and unregulated money is the biggest concern for the future of democracy in this country and Bernie is the only candidate addressing it.”
She said the Clinton campaign wrote her a cordial note after she switched allegiances.
“When I hosted Bernie at my house last week, I called friends who I was positive were Clinton supporters only to find out they liked Bernie, but just didn’t think he had a chance to win,” Bilbray said. “Here in Nevada, I think I gave people permission to support what they cared about.”
The Sanders campaign is aware that while Nevada has been thought to be Clinton’s firewall, it might also serve a useful function for the insurgent’s campaign — even a tight loss would demonstrate that the Vermont senator can compete in a diverse state.
“She needs a decisive win here,” said a Democratic strategist from Nevada. “It may not be the firewall people think it is.”
“I think it’s the beginning of the explosion of the myth that Bernie has a limited appeal and he’s a one-state wonder,” said Sanders’ top strategist, Tad Devine, of a strong showing in Nevada. “If we do well, a lot of doors open very quickly.”
There are several factors suggesting an opening for Sanders to mount a strong challenge to the Democratic front-runner — if he plays his ground game right.
The powerful Culinary Union that represents 60,000 members, multiple sources said, is expected to remain neutral and offer no endorsement until after the caucuses. In 2008, the union backed Obama about three weeks before the caucuses.
Same-day registration for Democrats here also means more nontraditional voters can participate in the process if Sanders campaign manages to turn them out on caucus day. To that effect, National Nurses United launched a “Bernie Bus” on Wednesday, making multiple stops in Las Vegas to rally supporters ahead of the Democratic dinner. The bus made stops in front of the Tropicana Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Conference Center to turn out Nevada registered nurses for Sanders.
But Clinton has learned from the mistakes of 2008, focusing her resources on the state’s rural areas — a correction from its approach eight years ago, when Clinton technically won the balloting but lost the delegate count to Obama, who campaigned hard in rural areas and Carson City and took 14 delegates to her 11.
This time, the campaign has zeroed in on Elko, a small, conservative city in eastern Nevada, placing a staffer there months ago and opening a new office there this week. (In the 2008 general election, Obama was the first Democratic candidate to open a field office in the Republican stronghold).
The Clinton campaign also spent the summer conducting rural listening tours spanning 1,250 miles of terrain across the state.
Clinton’s top brass also understand the lay of the land here: Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, ran her Nevada operation eight years ago.
“Nevada is hugely critical for us because it’s the most diverse of the early states, and not just in terms of Hispanics, but also African-Americans,” said Clinton Nevada state director Emmy Ruiz. “It basically sets the tone for all the primaries that are coming right after it.”
Clinton operatives are hopeful the makeup of the state will play to their advantage. Hispanics now make up about 23 percent of registered voters in Nevada, up about 5 percent since 2008, in part because of a massive voter registration drive in 2012. Ruiz notes that the campaign has seen an uptick in Latino volunteers since Donald Trump’s rise in the polls.
“The rhetoric coming from the other side — not just Trump — is really, really motivating people,” she said.
The state will serve as the first real test of Clinton’s appeal among Latino voters who will be crucial in a general election and in Super Tuesday states. Sanders’ appeal to Latinos remains a question mark — at a rally here after the first Democratic debate, the crowd that came out to support Sanders was noticeably white for a diverse state, as was the senator’s pre-dinner rally Wednesday.
But Sanders supporters said they are hopeful that his message will resonate in a state that was hard hit by the 2008 financial crisis, and where wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of living.
“When you give people the power to fight for you,” Bilbray said, “they will fight for you and that’s what I've seen from the Sanders campaign.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-nevada-217432#ixzz3wbmcE5Qn

Hillary Clinton has been vigilant but the state that was supposed to stop Bernie Sanders' momentum might be in play.

By Annie Karni

01/06/16 08:31 PM EST

Updated 01/07/16 12:49 AM EST

LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton has been on the ground in Nevada since last April. Bernie Sanders only began building up his organization here late in the fall.
But the state that’s been touted as Clinton’s firewall against the Vermont senator in the event he generates any momentum out of the whiter and more liberal states of Iowa and New Hampshire is suddenly looking like it’s in play, potentially opening another unexpected early state front.

Sanders is playing catchup — and fast.
He has now hired almost twice the number of staffers on the ground in Nevada — 40 to Clinton's 22, as of July. The campaign would not provide an updated number of paid staffers on the ground. And he has opened nine field offices across the state compared to Clinton’s six (the campaign said it is opening its seventh office, in Elko, on Thursday).
Sanders also has invested heavily in ad buys on English- and Spanish-language television and radio, spending $767,539 to date compared with Clinton's recent $162,490 ad buy.
Eight years ago, Nevada was also supposed to be Clinton’s firewall against Barack Obama. She won the popular vote here 51 percent to 45 percent, but Obama ended up taking home more delegates than Clinton and tainted what was supposed to have been a clean win for her.
Now, it is Sanders who is proving resilient as all three Democratic candidates descended on the MGM casino Wednesday night for a state party caucus dinner hosted by Sen. Harry Reid.
There, Clinton offered a hyper-local version of her stump speech, showing a mastery of local Nevada politics and issues. She went after Nevada’s Republican Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, “who seems to have made it his mission to tear apart hard working American families.” And she singled out Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy for saying “Mitt Romney was right about the 47 percent, and that people with disabilities are, and I quote him, are a drain on society.”
Clinton pitched herself as a candidate who is not only running for President, but “raising millions of dollars for our state parties to help you build the infrastructure you need,” a difference from Sanders. It was a strong pitch for a local crowd. . For his part, Sanders revved up a crowd who came equipped with ear-piercing vuvuzelas with his standard stump speech about a political revolution "against the billionaire class whose greed is destroying our economy." But he put no distinct local spin on his remarks.
But in recent days, Sanders has won over some of Clinton’s most stalwart supporters in the state. Erin Bilbray, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Nevada who was so loyal to Clinton in 2008 that she refused to support Obama at the convention, has endorsed the Vermont senator.
Bilbray said in October she was planning to support Clinton. But she changed her mind after a friend dragged her to an organizing meeting hosted by the Sanders campaign.
“I started getting more and more excited as I was watching his volunteers, how organized they were, how in the trenches they were,” she said. “His supporters here are passionate. The situation with super PACs and unregulated money is the biggest concern for the future of democracy in this country and Bernie is the only candidate addressing it.”
She said the Clinton campaign wrote her a cordial note after she switched allegiances.
“When I hosted Bernie at my house last week, I called friends who I was positive were Clinton supporters only to find out they liked Bernie, but just didn’t think he had a chance to win,” Bilbray said. “Here in Nevada, I think I gave people permission to support what they cared about.”
The Sanders campaign is aware that while Nevada has been thought to be Clinton’s firewall, it might also serve a useful function for the insurgent’s campaign — even a tight loss would demonstrate that the Vermont senator can compete in a diverse state.
“She needs a decisive win here,” said a Democratic strategist from Nevada. “It may not be the firewall people think it is.”
“I think it’s the beginning of the explosion of the myth that Bernie has a limited appeal and he’s a one-state wonder,” said Sanders’ top strategist, Tad Devine, of a strong showing in Nevada. “If we do well, a lot of doors open very quickly.”
There are several factors suggesting an opening for Sanders to mount a strong challenge to the Democratic front-runner — if he plays his ground game right.
The powerful Culinary Union that represents 60,000 members, multiple sources said, is expected to remain neutral and offer no endorsement until after the caucuses. In 2008, the union backed Obama about three weeks before the caucuses.
Same-day registration for Democrats here also means more nontraditional voters can participate in the process if Sanders campaign manages to turn them out on caucus day. To that effect, National Nurses United launched a “Bernie Bus” on Wednesday, making multiple stops in Las Vegas to rally supporters ahead of the Democratic dinner. The bus made stops in front of the Tropicana Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Conference Center to turn out Nevada registered nurses for Sanders.
But Clinton has learned from the mistakes of 2008, focusing her resources on the state’s rural areas — a correction from its approach eight years ago, when Clinton technically won the balloting but lost the delegate count to Obama, who campaigned hard in rural areas and Carson City and took 14 delegates to her 11.
This time, the campaign has zeroed in on Elko, a small, conservative city in eastern Nevada, placing a staffer there months ago and opening a new office there this week. (In the 2008 general election, Obama was the first Democratic candidate to open a field office in the Republican stronghold).
The Clinton campaign also spent the summer conducting rural listening tours spanning 1,250 miles of terrain across the state.
Clinton’s top brass also understand the lay of the land here: Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, ran her Nevada operation eight years ago.
“Nevada is hugely critical for us because it’s the most diverse of the early states, and not just in terms of Hispanics, but also African-Americans,” said Clinton Nevada state director Emmy Ruiz. “It basically sets the tone for all the primaries that are coming right after it.”
Clinton operatives are hopeful the makeup of the state will play to their advantage. Hispanics now make up about 23 percent of registered voters in Nevada, up about 5 percent since 2008, in part because of a massive voter registration drive in 2012. Ruiz notes that the campaign has seen an uptick in Latino volunteers since Donald Trump’s rise in the polls.
“The rhetoric coming from the other side — not just Trump — is really, really motivating people,” she said.
The state will serve as the first real test of Clinton’s appeal among Latino voters who will be crucial in a general election and in Super Tuesday states. Sanders’ appeal to Latinos remains a question mark — at a rally here after the first Democratic debate, the crowd that came out to support Sanders was noticeably white for a diverse state, as was the senator’s pre-dinner rally Wednesday.
But Sanders supporters said they are hopeful that his message will resonate in a state that was hard hit by the 2008 financial crisis, and where wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of living.
“When you give people the power to fight for you,” Bilbray said, “they will fight for you and that’s what I've seen from the Sanders campaign.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-nevada-217432#ixzz3wbmcE5Qn

    Current date/time is Sat 10 Dec 2016, 10:36 am