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Politics Democrats Storm Nevada Ahead of High-Stakes Caucuses

03:25  18 february  2020
03:25  18 february  2020 Source:   online.wsj.com

Nevada Democrats said to have new 'caucus tool' to track results

  Nevada Democrats said to have new 'caucus tool' to track results Nevada party officials are apparently trying to avoid the tabulating and reporting debacle that dogged the Iowa caucus.The party was quick to point out during volunteer summits on Saturday that the new tool isn't an app, like the one that delayed results for days during the Iowa caucus earlier this month. Instead, precinct chairs will be given iPads disconnected from the internet with preloaded with the new tool.

After a week that began with the chaotic Iowa caucuses and ended with ABC News' Democratic debate, the candidates crisscrossed New Hampshire to make their final appeals to voters.

After a week that began with the chaotic Iowa caucuses and ended with ABC News' Democratic debate, the candidates crisscrossed New Hampshire to make their final appeals to voters.

  Democrats Storm Nevada Ahead of High-Stakes Caucuses © eric thayer/Reuters

RENO, Nev.—Democratic presidential contenders are blitzing Nevada in the final week before the state’s caucuses, a contest that could determine whether Sen. Bernie Sanders has staying power at the top of the pack and whether centrists will rally behind an alternative or remain splintered.

As they made appearances across the state, the candidates are preparing for a Wednesday night debate in Las Vegas that could include the debut of billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has poured more than $400 million into his campaign with an eye toward the Super Tuesday states next month.

After the caucus meltdown in Iowa, Democrats in Nevada fear a repeat

  After the caucus meltdown in Iowa, Democrats in Nevada fear a repeat Voters and campaigns have become increasingly mistrustful of the caucus format since the Iowa vote and are worried that further trouble could throw the Democrats into complete disarray.Voters and campaigns have become increasingly mistrustful of the caucus format since the Iowa vote and are worried that further trouble could throw the Democrats’ 2020 primary process into complete disarray. In Nevada, those fears have only deepened since the state’s Democratic Party was forced to make abrupt changes to its caucus process because it had planned to use an iPad app developed by the same company that developed the mobile application used in Iowa.

And Sanders is looking to Saturday’s Nevada caucuses to post another win that would further his status as an early front-runner. With fear and frustration rising in the party’s establishment wing, a high - stakes math problem is emerging. It could be impossible to blunt Sanders as long as a trio of

Nevada Democrats have done their best to squelch rumors that the contest is rigged, explaining that former Buttigieg staffer Emily Goldman, hired earlier this month as “voter protection director” for the party, will not have the ability to affect the caucus outcome.

Mr. Sanders, the Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist, and Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor, emerged as the leading contenders after Iowa and New Hampshire. But Nevada’s contest this Saturday, which features a large Latino electorate, and South Carolina’s, the first with a large African-American voting population, will test whether Messrs. Sanders and Buttigieg can appeal to a more diverse electorate.

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“If we have, as I hope we will, the highest voter turnout in the history of the Nevada caucus, we’re going to win here in Nevada,” Mr. Sanders said during a Sunday rally in Carson City.

After the caucus meltdown in Iowa, Democrats in Nevada fear a repeat

  After the caucus meltdown in Iowa, Democrats in Nevada fear a repeat Janet Jackson announced Monday (Feb. 10) that she'll be hitting the road in 2020 for a new world tour in support of her forthcoming twelfth studio album, 'Black Diamond.'

With the Nevada Democratic caucuses only a week away, both caucus workers and presidential campaigns are worried about the lack of detail the state party is providing about how the results reporting process will work. © John Locher/AP Paper ballots sit on a table at an early voting site at the

Were the Democrats so consumed with impeaching Trump that they forgot how to organize a simple caucus ? Finally, the Iowa Democratic Party broke the Just last week, for example, CNN announced it would host eight presidential town halls ahead of the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

In a sign of his strength, Mr. Sanders has been campaigning in recent days in a series of Super Tuesday states, set to vote March 3, including California, Colorado, North Carolina and Texas. He was holding a Monday night rally in Tacoma, Wash.

Mr. Buttigieg hopes to use Nevada as a springboard to consolidate support among centrists, hoping to fend off an energized Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who finished third in New Hampshire, and a faltering former Vice President Joe Biden, who finished fifth.

But with Mr. Bloomberg’s addition to the ballot looming after South Carolina, a failure to do so by Mr. Buttigieg might allow Mr. Sanders to accumulate an early lead in the chase for delegates to the party’s summer convention. Recent polls show Mr. Sanders leading in Nevada, a state he narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mr. Buttigieg, a 38-year-old military veteran, has sought to present himself as a candidate who could bring together the disparate factions within the party and present a striking alternative to President Trump. He has tussled with Mr. Sanders on a central issue of the campaign: Medicare for All, in which the party’s left wants to move everyone from private insurance to government-provided health coverage, while centrists call for a more gradual shift.

Reid says Biden will do well in diverse Nevada's caucuses

  Reid says Biden will do well in diverse Nevada's caucuses Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t say Saturday whether he’s told any of the eight Democrats running for president to drop out of the race but said people should not count former Vice President Joe Biden out. Biden had weak finishes in the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, two largely white states, but will do well in much more diverse Nevada, Reid predicted.

With fear and frustration rising in the party's establishment wing, a high - stakes math problem is emerging. It could be impossible to blunt Sanders as Sanders was showing new signs of confidence as he campaigned over the weekend in Nevada ahead of the state's caucuses next Saturday.

Nevada , which will hold its caucuses on Saturday, is more diverse than either of the two states that have held presidential nominating contests so far. Jessica Slovak, a nurse who caucused for Mr. Sanders four years ago, was still with him as she waited in a long line over the weekend at a site for

“A campaign message that says that you’ve either got to be for the revolution or you must be for the status quo, most of us don’t know where we fit in that picture,” Mr. Buttigieg said in Reno on Monday. “I’m here to draw a bigger picture, one where all of us can belong.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, is seeking to use Nevada to rejuvenate her campaign after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, which borders her home state.

Another factor: the mechanics of the caucus in Nevada. After voter-tabulation problems delayed Iowa’s caucus results, campaigns are nervous that Nevada may face similar problems despite assurances from state party officials that they are prepared and have learned from Iowa’s mistakes.

An inconclusive outcome in Nevada—either overall or amid the centrist bloc—could benefit Mr. Bloomberg, who is campaigning as a well-funded counterweight to Mr. Trump and skipped the first four races in favor of Super Tuesday primaries and beyond.

The billionaire could qualify for Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas if he achieves one more qualifying national poll showing him with at least 10% support—he already has notched three such polls. Mr. Bloomberg is preparing for the debate Wednesday in case he meets the polling criteria, according to people familiar with his planning.

Looking to Nevada, will Dems avoid mistakes of Iowa?

  Looking to Nevada, will Dems avoid mistakes of Iowa? UNDATED (AP) — Nevada Democrats are hoping to avoid a repeat of the chaos that ensnared the Iowa caucuses, as voters gather across the Silver State on Saturday to make their presidential preferences known. Iowa's process cratered this month following a rushed effort by state Democrats to deploy a mobile app for caucus volunteers to report results. Democrats in Nevada were going to use the same app developer as Iowa did, but quickly sidelined those plans. They will still be relying to some extent on technology to assist in counting and reporting results, though, and like Iowa, they will have paper backups. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb.

But several Democrats in the field are sharpening their attacks of Mr. Bloomberg ahead of the debate, pointing to his Republican past and lack of support for President Obama during the 2008 election.

Mr. Sanders, who has drawn thousands to his rallies, over the weekend highlighted Mr. Bloomberg’s past views on law enforcement and questioned his ability to harness a massive turnout that the senator argues will be necessary to defeat Mr. Trump. At an event in Las Vegas, Mr. Sanders said the party wouldn’t be able to “create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for and enacted racist policies like stop-and-frisk, which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.”

Mr. Sanders was referring to practices in which New York police officers received broad authority to stop and search people whom they suspected of criminal behavior. Mr. Bloomberg has since apologized for his administration’s use of the tactic and offered regret last week when audio of him defending the procedure in 2015 was shared on social media.

Kevin Sheekey, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, said it was “a shameful turn of events to see Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump deploy the very same attacks and tactics against Mike, but the reason is clear. At this point, the primary is Bernie’s to lose, and ours to win.”

Nevada Democrats bet on a Google app to avoid an Iowa-like meltdown

  Nevada Democrats bet on a Google app to avoid an Iowa-like meltdown Experts say a lack of training for volunteers and testing of the reporting system could still spell trouble for tabulating results.But is the new approach up to the task? That's the big question. National Democratic party officials say they feel Nevada is ready.

Mr. Biden is seeking to reset his campaign in the next two contests, arguing that black and Latino voters have yet to influence the Democratic primaries. But polls have shown that his tepid support in Iowa and New Hampshire has weakened his standing among black voters in South Carolina, raising the stakes for him in Nevada.

During a New York City fundraiser last week, Mr. Biden told donors he was confident he would win the South Carolina primary and place first or second in Nevada. But even some of his supporters have their doubts.

During an event at a Reno middle school on Monday, Roger Scime, a guitar and vocal instructor, told the former vice president that he was “smart” and “experienced,” and that if he won the nomination it would be “Mr. Rogers versus Darth Vader," with Mr. Trump as the Star Wars villain. But Mr. Scime said he wondered about the future of Mr. Biden’s campaign.

Mr. Biden responded that he knew Iowa would be a difficult place for him to win because “it’s all white, it’s all Midwestern,” but he said he had broad support from black and Latino voters.

“We’re now getting into the thick of it,” he said, adding that former President Clinton lost about a dozen contests in 1992 but still won the nomination. “I’m not counting on waiting that long,” he said to laughter.

Write to Ken Thomas at ken.thomas@wsj.com

Nevada Democrats skirt chaos that plagued Iowa caucuses .
After the chaos of the Iowa caucuses, Democrats were desperate to avoid another fiasco in Nevada. And early indications Saturday were that they succeeded. Enough preliminary results came in to allow The Associated Press and other news organizations to declare Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont the caucus winner by early evening in Nevada.

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