News organizations called the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday for Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), basing their conclusions on entrance polls and a smattering of voting precinct results.
NBC, Fox News, the Associated Press, and other networks have proclaimed Sanders the winner, although only four percent of precincts have reported concrete results so far. Those precincts gave Sanders 54 percent of the vote, with former Vice President Joe Biden in second at 17.5 percent.
The campaigns for Biden and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg attempted to keep up supporters’ spirits as networks proclaimed a Sanders victory. Buttigieg released internal polling results showing the former mayor would receive 20 percent of the state’s delegates, while Biden attempted to reassure supporters at a rally in Las Vegas.
“The press is ready to declare people dead quickly. Well, we are alive,” Biden said.
Sanders, for his part, led a rally in El Paso, Texas, as the Nevada results trickled in, and used the opportunity to slam President Trump.
“We have a president today who is a pathological liar, who is running a corrupt administration,” Sanders said. “Who is a racist. A sexist. A homophobe. A xenophobe, and a religious bigot.”
The Nevada win gives the Sanders campaign added momentum going into the South Carolina primary on February 29. After his strong performances in the first two state primaries, two national polls released on Wednesday showed Sanders with a double-digit lead against rival candidates among prospective Democratic primary voters.
In an interview to be aired Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Biden asserts he is confident he’ll win in South Carolina with the support of the state’s black voters, who make up around 60 percent of the state’s Democratic electorate.
“I feel good about where we are. I feel good about going into South Carolina. And I feel good about the kind of support I’ve had with African-Americans around the country,” Biden says.