The 2020 Nevada caucuses

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11:02 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Here's what happened in the Nevada caucuses

Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Nevada caucuses are over and Sen. Bernie Sanders has been named the victor, according to a CNN projection.

A lot happened tonight. Catch up on the crucial takeaways below:

  • Sanders wins, CNN projects: Sanders will win the Nevada caucuses, according to a CNN projection, showing the power of his organization and amplifying his argument that he can broaden his appeal across the Democratic electorate based on the results from the most diverse state in Democrats' nominating contest thus far. Sanders made an enormous organizing push beginning in the middle of last year, putting some 250 paid staffers on the ground in the Silver State.
  • Warren congratulates Sanders, attacks Bloomberg: Warren congratulated Sanders on his apparent Nevada caucus win and took aim at Bloomberg. In a speech to supporters in Seattle, Washington, Warren called the billionaire and former mayor of New York “a threat coming our way."
  • Biden looks to South Carolina: After the caucuses wrap in Nevada tonight, the race will quickly turn to South Carolina, a state considered to be Joe Biden’s firewall. The former vice president has expressed confidence he could win South Carolina, but when CNN spoke to him he wouldn’t call it a must-win. The reality is Biden has staked a large part of his campaign on South Carolina and what he believes to be his bedrock of support — black voters.
  • Buttigieg warns against Sanders’ nomination: Buttigieg warned against Sanders’ nomination as the Democratic presidential nominee in his speech to supporters following the Nevada caucuses. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor charged that Sanders’ "Medicare for All" plan “believes in taking away” peoples’ choice in health care, “replacing it with a public plan whether people want it or not.”
  • Klobuchar remains hopeful: The senator from Minnesota thinks her presidential campaign has exceeded expectations in the Nevada caucuses as votes are being counted. “A lot of people didn't even think that I would still be standing at this point,” the Minnesota senator said. Her campaign finished fifth in Iowa and third in New Hampshire. 

10:22 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Warren congratulates Sanders and attacks Bloomberg

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

Elaine Thompson/AP
Elaine Thompson/AP

Elizabeth Warren congratulated Bernie Sanders on his apparent Nevada caucus win and took aim at one person not in contention in Nevada: Michael Bloomberg. 

"The race has been called, Bernie has won, congratulations Bernie," Warren said. It's not yet clear where Warren will place after Sanders' first place finish.

In a speech to supporters in Seattle, Washington, Warren rolled out a repeat of her latest breakout debate performance, singling out Bloomberg.  

Warren called the billionaire “a threat coming our way” skipping the first four nomination states to “buy this election” by plowing his resources into Super Tuesday states and beyond.

“He argues that he is the safest bet to beat Donald Trump. He’s not safe, he’s just rich,” Warren said. 

Warren thanked her supporters for “keeping me in the fight,” and said her campaign has already seen a boost from the Wednesday night debate.

“Since Wednesday night our support has been growing everywhere,” Warren said to a cheering crowd. “Since I’ve stepped on that stage a quarter of a million people have gone to Elizabeth Warren.com and pitched in their $25.”

Warren said the campaign raised $9 million in three days.

The Massachusetts senator has another shot at a momentum-building debate performance soon. She — and Bloomberg — will be back on the debate stage on Tuesday ahead of South Carolina’s primary. 

See Warren speak to supporters:

10:04 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Caucus results going through slow cross-checking process, official says

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher

Jon Summers, an adviser to the Nevada Democratic Party, said the delay in official results is due to quality control measures.

In order for the party to publish official results, there must be a phone call, a photo via text and a physical check of the math worksheet. If one level of the reporting is missing, it has not passed the quality control measures, and the party will not post the results.  

Summers said he believes they will continue through the night, if necessary — as opposed to stopping the counting at a certain time and returning in the morning. 

He said he feels the process is working well, adding that the caucuses went smoother than expected. He reiterated the party warned the results would be slow to come in due to the three sets of data and cross-checking quality control measures. 

 

9:54 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Bloomberg and Steyer outspend Democratic field in advertising

From CNN's David Wright

CNN
CNN

Super Tuesday is where Michael Bloomberg's prohibitive ad spending advantage will be felt for this first time, since he has not spent money advertising in the first four primary states. He's spent nearly $160 million just on TV ads in these 14 states — more than three times the rest of the field combined, including Tom Steyer. 

Bloomberg has spent over $50 million in California alone, nearly $40 million in Texas, and over $10 million in Virginia and North Carolina. He's spent at least $2 million in every state other than Vermont, and is the only candidate to advertise in every Super Tuesday state so far.

Behind him, Tom Steyer has spent about $38.5 million on Super Tuesday advertising — but most of that has gone to California, where Steyer has spent $31.7 million on advertising. Steyer has also spent nearly $3.7 million in Texas and almost $1.2 million in North Carolina.

Bernie Sanders has spent the most on Super Tuesday advertising of the non-billionaire candidates. He's up to nearly $11 million in those states, with $5.7 in California and over $3 million in Texas.

For the rest of the field, Amy Klobuchar has actually outspent Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg in Super Tuesday states so far. Klobuchar has spent $1.7 million on ad reservations in those states, with the most in North Carolina ($635,000).

Elizabeth Warren has spent $309,000 on Super Tuesday ads, almost entirely Colorado and Maine. Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg have so far not reserved any airtime in Super Tuesday states. Meanwhile, Tulsi Gabbard has some ad spending in California, Texas and Maine, totaling about $150,000.

Across all Super Tuesday states, and including all the active 2020 Democratic candidates, the ad spend total is over $210 million.

CNN's Harry Enten has the details:

9:20 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

"Someone needs to pull an Andrew Yang" and exit the race, the former candidate says

CNN
CNN

Former presidential hopeful and current CNN political commentator Andrew Yang had some fun at his own expense this evening when discussing the number of Democrats still running for president.

Yang, who dropped out of the race earlier this month, believes candidates need to step back to help bolster the Democrats' chances of defeating President Trump this November.

"Someone needs to pull an Andrew Yang. I've done the math, I'm not going to win," Yang said. 

See the moment:

8:52 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Democratic official says they're hopeful caucus results won’t take all night

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher

A Democratic official who has been working in the Nevada war room where they are tabulating the results of the caucuses is hopeful the results won’t take all night.

“We are taking our time, but hopefully, not too long,” the official said, in response to a question about whether it will be the extremely long night the party had been anticipating.

Site leads who were running the caucus sites today have been carrying white boxes full of results and supplies into the war room in the past few minutes. Officials inside are cross-checking results that have been called and texted in. 

A massive three-tier tray of silver coffee pitchers and room service style plates was just wheeled out of one of the rooms Nevada Democrats have been holed up in as the evening churns on. 

8:45 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Biden looks to win South Carolina primary after caucuses

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

John Locher/AP
John Locher/AP

After the caucuses wrap in Nevada tonight, the race will quickly turn to South Carolina, a state considered to be Joe Biden’s firewall.

The former vice president has expressed confidence he could win South Carolina, but when CNN spoke to him he wouldn’t call it a must-win.

Biden told CNN he believes his campaign could move forward if he loses South Carolina as long as he does well there.

The reality is Biden has staked a large part of his campaign on South Carolina and what he believes to be his bedrock of support — black voters. But other candidates have started to make inroads with that key constituency of the Democratic party.

Biden told CNN Democrats are now getting to the “meat” campaign with these more diverse states approaching.

On the South Carolina primary, one Biden supporter who fundraises for him told CNN "he’s gotta win it” after staking so much of his campaign on the state.

8:50 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Sanders claims victory in Nevada caucuses

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Eric Gay/AP
Eric Gay/AP

Bernie Sanders claimed victory in the Nevada caucuses on tonight and touted the power of his grassroots movement. 

“In Nevada we have just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition which is going to not only win in Nevada, it's going to sweep this country,” the Vermont senator told a crowd of supporters in San Antonio, Texas, after CNN projected Sanders would win the Nevada caucuses.

“No campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we're going to win this election," Sanders said.

He touted his support from unions and thanked supporters who made phone calls and knocked on doors for his campaign. 

The senator’s win in the Nevada caucuses comes after a win in New Hampshire and a strong showing in Iowa, where results are still being examined and Pete Buttigieg holds a narrow lead over the senator.  

Sanders sought to draw a distinction between himself and President Trump, and said his campaign is working to bring people together. 

“Trump and his friends think they are going to win this election," Sanders said. "They think they're going to win this election by dividing our people up based on the color of their skin or where they were born or their religion or their sexual orientation."

"We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite," he continued. "We're bringing our people together.”

Hear Sanders speak after Nevada win:

8:23 p.m. ET, February 22, 2020

Buttigieg warns against Sanders’ nomination

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

Pete Buttigieg warned against Bernie Sanders’ nomination as the Democratic presidential nominee in his speech to supporters following the Nevada caucuses.

“I congratulate Sen. Sanders on a strong showing today,” Buttigieg said, adding: “But before we rush to nominate Sen. Sanders … Let us take a sober look at what is at stake.”

While delivering his speech, it was not yet clear where Buttigieg placed in Nevada’s caucuses after Sanders.

“That is the choice before us. We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory,” Buttigieg said. “We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new and broad and big-hearted American coalition.”

Buttigieg then highlighted the differences between himself and Sanders, saying Sanders “believes in an ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats as well as most Americans.”

The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor charged that Sanders’ "Medicare for All" plan “believes in taking away” peoples’ choice in health care, “replacing it with a public plan whether people want it or not.”

Buttigieg narrowly leads Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, and he came in second place, after Sanders, in the New Hampshire primary. 

See Buttigieg speak to supporters: