While only a small percentage of precincts have actually reported full vote tallies to the Nevada Democratic Party, multiple news outlets called the Nevada caucuses for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) early Saturday evening. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders was the projected winner by a landslide with 47 percent of delegates.
With 21 percent of delegates, Biden’s runner-up finish in Nevada comes after the first two primaries painted a picture of a campaign on life support. NBC News projected Biden would come in second late Sunday.
Pete Buttigieg, who came in a strong second in New Hampshire, trailed Biden with 13.7 percent of delegates. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in fourth with 9.6 percent of delegates.
While he’s projected to come in second with less than half the percent of delegates that Sanders racked up Saturday, Biden was cheerful while addressing supporters Saturday in the state as NBC News and ABC News both called the race for Sanders.
“I think we’re in a position now to move on in a way that we haven’t been until this moment,” he said, touting the support he’s expected to receive in South Carolina next week. “I don’t know the final results yet, but I feel really good. You put me in a position, you know, the press is ready to declare people dead quickly. But we’re alive, we’re coming back and we’re going to win.”
Biden speakers to supporters in Nevada pic.twitter.com/iBY5cz2is2
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 23, 2020
Biden’s campaign has maintained for weeks that the former vice president would enjoy better turnout in states with more diverse populations and compared to Iowa and New Hampshire. Nevada is the most diverse state yet to hold its primary election, with a high concentration of Latino, African American and Pacific Islander voters.
Biden is likely banking on his strong favorability in South Carolina to reignite his presidential campaign. Before the first two primaries, the former vice president was widely considered the 2020 frontrunner, by pundits and President Trump alike. But after a flop in Iowa and a pitiful fifth place finish in New Hampshire — where he didn’t even stay in the state to await the results — that status was increasingly downgraded by the media.