We all know Hillary won in Nevada this weekend; for the love of all that is holy she had told us so at every opportunity, as has her ever-compliant media. CBS News seems to be one of the few MSMS outlets looking to break the win down. Let’s see what they have to say.
One of the key reasons Clinton won the Nevada caucuses is that she was able to capture the women’s vote, 55 percent compared to Sanders 42 percent. She did particularly well among women over the age of 45, with seven out of 10 expressing their support for Clinton. Clinton always had a strong female base, and Nevada helped confirm that. These are probably strong, loyal Clinton supporters she’ll carry with her into November.
While Sanders captured the millennials and voters under 45 (see below), Clinton won more than 60 percent of voters between 45-64 and three quarters of voters over the age of 65. That is useful moving forward for her, as older voters tend to turn out in the general election fairly reliably.
So that’s the basics of the good news. However…
Sanders captured 53 percent of the Hispanic vote this year in contrast to Clinton’s 45 percent. This represents a substantial decline in support for Clinton among Hispanics compared to eight years ago. In 2008, Clinton got 64 percent of the Hispanic vote, compared to Obama’s 26 percent. She will need to reach Hispanics, alongside African-American voters, in the general election, to beat the Republicans. Both ethnic groups have spotty turnout records at times, and so some work will need to be done.
Clinton did not win young people in Nevada. Clinton did not win young people in either 2008, either, but she did capture 33 percent of those under the age of 30 then, compared with just 12 percent in Saturday’s contest. Hillary very much needs these votes in November, but has failed spectacularly so far in attracting them. How many will make the jump from Bernie is he loses the nomination is likely a major question discussed inside Team Clinton.
Nevada limits its caucus to registered Democrats, but same-day registration is available. Among those caucus goers who identify as independent, Sanders did well, capturing more than 70 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton’s 23 percent. Hillary very much needs these votes in November, but has failed spectacularly so far in attracting them.
The last point might be the most important: Clinton won in Nevada by under five points, far from a “clear and decisive victory.” Her support appears soft, and her trajectory flat or falling. We’ll need to see what happens February 27 in the South Carolina primary before declaring her ready for coronation.