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Democrats face an important test in Nevada caucuses

Nevada caucus vote early.JPG
Posted at 9:06 AM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 12:06:28-05

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Democrats are preparing to weigh in on their party’s presidential nomination fight.

Seven casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip stand among 200 caucus locations statewide that will host the presidential caucuses on Saturday, the third contest in a 2020 primary season.

RELATED: What to do on Feb. 22 for the Nevada Caucus

“Nevada represents an opportunity for these candidates to demonstrate their appeal to a larger swath of our country,” said state Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat who is not endorsing a candidate in the crowded field.

Nevada’s population, which aligns more with the U.S. as a whole than the opening elections in Iowa and New Hampshire, is 29% Latino, 10% black and 9% Asian American and Pacific Islander.

The vote comes at a critical moment for the Democratic Party as self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders emerges as the clear front-runner and a half dozen more moderate candidates savage one another for the chance to emerge as the preferred alternative to Sanders.

The ultimate winner will represent Democrats on the ballot against President Donald Trump in November.

Saturday’s caucuses are the first since technical glitches and human errors plagued Iowa’s kickoff caucuses. Nearly three weeks later, state Democratic officials have yet to post final results.

RELATED: Final preparations underway for Saturday's Nevada caucus

Nevada Democrats have projected confidence in their process, although Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez this week refused to commit to releasing the full results on the day of the vote.

“We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy,” Perez told The Associated Press this week.

The party said nearly 75,000 Democrats cast early ballots, and a majority were first-time caucus-goers. In 2016, a total of 84,000 Nevada voters participated in the Democratic caucuses.


AP article written by Steve Peoples, Michelle L. Price and Jonathan J. Cooper.