Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses on Saturday with a decisive victory — all thanks to young and Latino voters.
With 46% of the vote, Sanders is the projected winner in Nevada, the first state in this early primary season with a diverse voting population, according to The Wall Street Journal. With 50% of the Nevada vote reported, former Vice President Joe Biden is predicted to come in second with 19.6%, followed by former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg (15.3%), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (10.1%), and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (4.8%).
A major factor in Sanders’ Nevada success was the Latino vote, which makes up 19% of the state’s electorate. Sanders pulled in half of the Latino vote, according to Vox, which could be a sign of the success he will have in states with a high Latino population in the general election, as well as in the next set of states that will vote on Super Tuesday, which include Texas and California. Sanders already earned a majority of the Latino vote in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Sanders has worked to engage the Latino population going into this primary season by utilizing on-the-ground community outreach in both English and Spanish, hiring Latino staffers with grassroots community advocacy roots, and a progressive agenda that focuses on immigration and healthcare. He’s also found a surrogate in New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has referred to him as her “Tío” or “Uncle Bernie Sanders” at rallies. “We have an ally in our fight...an ally who has been with us for decades,” Ocasio-Cortez said in Spanish at a Las Vegas town hall for Sanders in December, per BuzzFeed.
Sanders also did well with Nevada’s younger voters, picking up 65% of those who are 17 to 29 years old, according to NBC News.
"We have put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition, which is not only going to win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country," Sanders said at a rally in San Antonio. Sanders was campaigning there in anticipation of Super Tuesday, when Texas will be the second largest delegate state after California to vote on March 3. It is also a state with a large Latino population.
After a new app disrupted the Iowa caucuses, Nevada’s primary went much smoother than predicted, giving Sanders a lead going into South Carolina’s February 29 primary.