What Happened at the Nevada Democratic County Conventions?
Over the weekend, Democrats in Nevada held their county-level conventions which is part of their process to select delegates which will head to the Nevada state convention, and eventually, to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. As it turns out, Bernie Sanders will likely walk away with more delegates in Nevada than Hillary Clinton will, despite Clinton having won the caucus back in Februrary.
The Reno Gazette-Journal explains:
Bernie Sanders scored a victory at Nevada’s county-level Democratic conventions on Saturday, even though he lost to Hillary Clinton in the state’s February caucuses.
Conventions held throughout Nevada yielded 2,124 Sanders-supporting delegates who will head to the state convention on May 14. That accounts for 55 percent of the total delegates.
Hillary Clinton earned 1,722 delegates, or 45 percent of the total.
Clinton won the Nevada caucuses Feb. 20 with 53 percent of the vote and was projected to win 20 of the 35 delegates up for grabs. Saturday’s results reduce that projection to 18, although the final count depends on results from the state-level convention. [Emphasis added]
The upset comes as many delegates elected in February didn’t show up for the county events. In Clark County, less than half of the nearly 9,000 delegates elected at caucuses turned up on Saturday, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
The claim that Sanders has now “won” the Nevada caucus is not entirely true, Hillary was still the victor in that contest. However, in a manner similar to the Iowa caucus, the state parties in Nevada select their delegates in several steps which goes from caucus night, to the county conventions, to the state convention, to the national convention. The voting that happens on caucus night is just the first of many steps before the delegate selection is final.
The truth here is that Bernie Sanders was better organized, and perhaps his supporters were simply more inclined to show up at the county conventions, and he could come away with winning the majority of delegates from Nevada. In a race this tight, as with the Republican side, some battles over delegates are being fought on the county level because every single delegate matters this year.
We won’t know the exact number of delegates won by each candidate until the Nevada Democratic Party holds its state convention on May 14th.