The Democratic primary will be headed west this weekend for the Nevada Democratic Caucus which happens on Saturday, February 20th. The most recent poll shows a tied race with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders splitting the vote at 45 percent each. In prior polling from December of last year, Clinton was leading by over a 20 point margin.
Here’s the remaining schedule for Democrats in February. Note that the Democratic and Republican contests in Nevada and South Carolina are being held on different dates.
Saturday, February 20
Nevada Democratic Caucus
Saturday, February 27
South Carolina Democratic Primary
Report from the New York Times:
Liz Hernandez learned what deportation was at age 5, when immigration officers burst into her home and hauled away her father and four uncles. Five years later, she and her mother, younger sister and infant brother, after a brief return to Mexico in a failed attempt to start a family farm, crossed the desert headed north again in a sweltering van driven by smugglers.
Now 25, Ms. Hernandez is among the volunteers here for Senator Bernie Sanders, seeing his presidential bid as “the best choice for our community and for the change we’ve been wanting to see,” as she put it between calls to voters from a campaign phone bank.
“I really do believe Bernie Sanders is concerned about me having a chance,” she said.
In the battle for Nevada, which will hold its Democratic caucuses on Saturday, the fight is largely being waged by young Latinos, many of them immigrants, who by the hundreds are seizing on the chance to focus attention on the hardships they have faced and to play a potentially pivotal role in electing the next president.
Mr. Sanders’s supporters, racing to persuade voters unfamiliar with the Vermont senator to embrace his focus on economic inequality, are determined to prove that he can win over a diverse electorate after taking New Hampshire and coming close in Iowa. Hillary Clinton’s supporters, drawing on a network of alliances she forged in the 2008 presidential campaign, are equally determined to bring Mr. Sanders’s political momentum to a screeching halt.
But for foreign-born voters and first-generation Americans, much more is at stake in Nevada than campaign gamesmanship.
The latest poll, and perhaps only poll done so far this year, shows a dead heat. The complete poll breakdown is available here, though the polling firm is not well-known so take the numbers with a grain of salt. As seen on RealClearPolitics, the last Nevada poll was in December showing Clinton with a 23 point lead.
I think the takeaway is that, similar to Iowa, Nevada can be considered a toss-up with either campaign in a position to win the race. It may come down to ground game and whether Clinton can hold her coalition together or whether Sanders can peel off enough voters to build on his New Hampshire momentum.
Nevada was considered a “firewall” for Clinton as a way to rebound after an expected New Hampshire loss. If Sanders pulls an upset in Nevada, or creates another 49% to 49% tie, then the South Carolina Democratic Primary will become all that more important on February 27th.