Hillary Clinton cannot afford to lose Nevada


As if the presidential nominating contest was not complicated enough, for some reason Democrats and Republicans diverge for the next presidential contest although they are both held on the same day. Saturday, February 20 sees a Republican primary in South Carolina while the Democrats hold caucuses in Nevada. Republicans hold their Nevada caucuses on the 23rd while the Democrats go to South Carolina for their primary on the 27th. Meanwhile the state of Washington does its own weird thing. Their Republicans have caucuses on the 20th and a primary on May 24, while the Democrats have caucuses on March 26.

What is clear on the Democratic side is that Hillary Clinton cannot afford another loss in Nevada. The squeaker in Iowa can be claimed as a win, however narrow the margin, and the massive loss in New Hampshire can be excused by the fact that Bernie Sanders is from a neighboring state, even if that argument is weak. But a loss in Nevada would not be easily explained away and would seriously harm her case for being the inevitable nominee.

There is a new poll in Nevada that shows that Clinton and Sanders are tied in Nevada but the reliability of that poll is suspect because the firm that did it has a strong Republican bias and they may have a vested interest in trying to harm Clinton’s campaign. The most recent poll before this one was taken back in December showing Clinton with a 23-point lead.

So expect Clinton to wage a ferocious campaign to win Nevada.

Comments

  1. Apropos of nothing says

    Other than the voting margin, what is the delegate outcome from New Hampshire for the Clinton and Sanders? I see a web-page with “soft” and “hard” totals, and they seem to be different ways of estimating delegate assignment – one has 15 each to Clinton and Sanders (soft total) while the other has 9-15 (hard). Are 6 delegates still twisting in the wind? I also saw a news report about the party leaders having some control over this, with the accusation that they were favoring Clinton. Frankly it seems convoluted and confusing, but with the strong popular vote, does Sanders come away with a corresponding gain in delegates, or not?

  2. jcsscj says

    I have been reading up a bit on this and it seems that the Democratic Party has Super Delegates. They are pre-assigned and can vote however they want. It seems that Hillary has already secured 392 of them, including 6 of NH. Bernie has only 44.
    The winner needs 2,382 delegates. This means Hillary has already a 16% head start. Bernie needs to win every state with at least 16% to play even. Unless some people change their mind.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    [Republicans] may have a vested interest in trying to harm Clinton’s campaign

    Do they believe Trump would have a harder time beating Clinton than he would beating Sanders? My ill-informed and distant impression of the way the race for nominations has gone would suggest, to me at least, that Trump would have a much easier time beating Clinton than he would Sanders.

    That said, a possible interpretation is that even now the Republican establishment still can’t quite believe that its candidate is going to be Trump, and is presumably working on the basis that a Clinton candidacy would be bad news for… dunno. Bush?

  4. WhiteHatLurker says

    Meanwhile the state of Washington does its own weird thing.

    You try make it sound like there is something “normal” about some part of the American political process. The only constant in the process is its insanity.

  5. doublereed says

    Didn’t something similar happen in 2008 with the superdelegates? Like didn’t Hillary have the superdelegates, but they just sort of caved to popular pressure in the end so it didn’t matter?

  6. Michael I says

    David Wasserman from the Cook Political Report has updated targets (as of 2/12) for both the Republican and Democratic side on how many delegates each candidate needs to win in each state and cumulatively to be “on track” for winning.

    Latest Democratic Scorecard: http://cookpolitical.com/story/9258
    Latest Republican Scorecard: http://cookpolitical.com/story/9251

    Quick summaries: Clinton is currently ahead of target (because of Iowa), Sanders is behind target. Clinton’s target for Nevada is a narrow loss. Her target for South Carolina is a narrow victory. On the Republican side, Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, and Bush are all below target, although Trump is closest to his target. Cruz’s target for South Carolina is a near-sweep, Trump needs a strong victory, while the others basically just need to get on the board (their targets are all the same, a mere three delegates).

    (It looks like the key contests on the Republican side are going to be winner-take-all primaries in Ohio and Florida on March 15 and Arizona on March 22. Note that there is a typo in the total delegates column for Ohio, the number of delegates should be 66, not 72.)

  7. Nick Gotts says

    That said, a possible interpretation is that even now the Republican establishment still can’t quite believe that its candidate is going to be Trump, and is presumably working on the basis that a Clinton candidacy would be bad news for… dunno. Bush? – sonofrojblake@4

    You put your finger on their problem: there are still 3 candidates contesting the “establishment lane”, and if one of them doesn’t force the other two out soon, their choice will be Trump or Cruz. I imagine frantic behind-the-scenes efforts are going on to see if any of them can be bribed or blackmailed to drop out – possibly even negotiations with service providers in the removal of inconvenient persons market ;-). Serve them right, of course (either Crump or Truz will have won despite their best efforts, and so will have the whip hand over them), but the whole benighted globe could end up trying to survive President Crump.

  8. Nick Gotts says

    Michael I@7,

    Yes, despite the large NH win for Sanders, Clinton must still be clear favourite.

  9. brucegee1962 says

    I doubt that the superdelegates would vote to overturn the clear will of the people. If it was a very tight race up to the convention, otoh, they could prove decisive.

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