Clinton beats Sanders in tight Nevada caucus race
By Ben Kamisar
Hillary Clinton fended off Bernie Sanders to narrowly win Saturday’s Democratic Nevada caucuses.
Fox News called the race shortly after 5 p.m., and MSNBC and The Associated Press followed moments later.
The former first lady was projected to be the winner with 52 percent of the vote, while Sanders had 48 percent. About 60 percent of precincts were reporting.
The victory for Clinton is likely to calm some nerves among her supporters after Sanders closed her lead in polls in the state and nearly pulled off an upset.
The two candidates now go to South Carolina for a primary one week from Saturday. Clinton holds a lead in polls in the state, where black voters are expected to be a force.
In Nevada, Clinton's win comes on the back of a strong showing in the minority-rich Clark County, home of Las Vegas.
That county has about three-quarters of the state's registered Democratic voters, and it's population is majority-minority according to Census figures.
Sanders performed better in the more rural areas of the state with higher white populations.
But Sanders' supporters are arguing that the tight margin means he can compete across the country, including in states with strong minority populations.
None of the counties that he is leading in have minority populations in line with the white population. But in two counties, Hispanics represent at least 20 percent of the general populations.
Nevada's more diverse population was expected to give Clinton an edge; the Vermont senator lost to her by an eyelash in Iowa's caucuses and crushed her in New Hampshire's primary. It was thought that Nevada's large Hispanic population could deliver Clinton a big victory.
But Sanders ran a tough race against Clinton in Nevada, and will come out of the state able to argue to voters that his campaign is appealing to a broader cross-section of voters.