Nevada Democrats break caucus ties with high-card draw

nevada caucus tie breaker lah orig_00010519
nevada caucus tie breaker lah orig_00010519

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Story highlights

  • Iowa used a coin flip to decide winners
  • Aces are high, according to the Nevada Democratic Party

(CNN)If Iowa was a toss-up between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, then Nevada, home to another round of Democratic caucuses Saturday, could come down -- quite literally -- to the luck of the draw.

Like Hawkeye State Democrats did on Feb. 1, the Nevada state party has sanctioned the use of a "game of chance" to break caucus deadlocks. This time around, though, the winner won't be calling a coin flip in the air, but pulling their fate from a deck of playing cards.
"In these very limited circumstances where two or more presidential preference groups are tied for the loss or gain of a delegate, groups must each draw a single card from a deck of cards to break the tie," party officials explained in a memo provided to CNN. "The high card determines the winner, and aces are high."
    The party will furnish each precinct location with an "unopened deck" to be shuffled "at least seven times" after extra cards, like jokers, are removed. If the two sides pull cards of the same rank, the winner will be determined by suit: spades are the highest, with hearts, diamonds and clubs -- in that order -- to follow.
    And indeed Saturday, at least precinct reportedly come down to a game of War. After the 30 voters in Pahrump, Nevada split evenly at Precinct 10's Morse Elementary School, Clinton and Sanders representatives squared off, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Clinton backer's ace of clubs beat the Sanders fan's six of hearts -- and Clinton won the tie breaker.
    Precinct chairs will be given a hotline number to call if they run into any confusion along the way.
    In Iowa, there were at least seven uses of a party-mandated coin toss being employed to determine the allotment of a delegate.
    Contrary to rumors circulating that night and the next day, Clinton did not edge out Sanders by simple luck. In fact, the Vermont senator won five of the six tosses pitting him against the former secretary of state. Sanders also won a flip with former Gov. Martin O'Malley.
    O'Malley would call time on his campaign that night at a gathering of supporters in Des Moines.