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After Nevada, Sanders Faces Struggle To Broaden Appeal

Campaign 2016 Headlines Politics

After Nevada, Sanders Faces Struggle To Broaden Appeal

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after rival candidate Hillary Clinton was projected as the winner in the Nevada Democratic caucuses as he appears at a rally in Henderson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bernie Sanders’ high-flying Democratic presidential campaign fell back to Earth on Saturday in Nevada.

If the Vermont senator cannot quickly find a way to broaden his appeal to minorities and union members, last week’s 22-point rout of Clinton in New Hampshire could prove to be his campaign highlight.

The race moves next week to South Carolina, where blacks make up more than half of the Democratic electorate, and on March 1 to a string of southern states with big blocs of African-Americans, who strongly support Clinton and have been slow to warm to Sanders.

The rush of March contests in big, diverse states — Democrats in nearly two dozen states will vote between March 1 and March 15 — could leave Sanders grasping for political life.

“This was a bad day for Sanders,” said David Woodard, a political scientist at Clemson University in South Carolina. “He needs to find a way to cut into Clinton’s base, and I don’t think he is going to find it here.”

Although Clinton’s 5-point win was relatively narrow, it was enough to blunt Sanders’ momentum. Recent voter surveys had shown a tight race in Nevada, raising the prospect of another damaging setback for Clinton.

Entrance polls in Nevada showed Clinton trounced Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, by 3-to-1 among black voters, and also beat him in union households by 11 percentage points.

The enthusiasm of younger and liberal voters who rallied around Sanders’ calls for reining in Wall Street and reducing income equality was not enough in Nevada to counter Clinton’s union and organizational clout, allowing her to reclaim front-runner status as the race shifts to more friendly turf.

After the New Hampshire setback, Clinton’s campaign was banking that Sanders would be unable to breach a so-called “firewall” of Hispanic and African-American support for the former Secretary of State in southern and western states.

Nevada’s result appeared to support that view.

“He’s running a strong campaign, but being close is overrated if you can’t make the sale,” said Mo Elleithee, a Clinton aide in her 2008 campaign and now the executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Victim of Success

The Sanders campaign said it was heartened in Nevada by entrance polls showing he beat Clinton among Hispanics by about eight points.

“What we learned today is Hillary Clinton’s firewall with Latino voters is a myth,” Arturo Carmona, deputy political director for Bernie 2016, said in a statement.

But the Clinton campaign questioned those numbers, saying that at one point she had won 60 percent of the delegates in 22 Latino-majority precincts.

Clinton’s convincing showing in Nevada could reduce the chances of a late run by an independent candidate such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who would likely scoop up moderate voters turned off by a socialist nominee.

In a sense, Sanders was a victim in Nevada of his own success. His ability to close the gap on Clinton in Iowa and rout her in New Hampshire, nearly all-white states, raised expectations that he could ride to another upset in Nevada.

“Nevada put out the Bern,” said Ken Tietjen, a Clinton supporter who stood outside her Las Vegas victory rally at Caesar’s Palace. “Hillary has all the momentum going forward.”

But Sanders’ strong showings in the first three contests, along with his formidable fundraising, suggest staying power. That could help extend the Democratic race beyond the cluster of early March contests and into April and May, when a string of contests in whiter and more liberal states could help him.

Sanders has money for the long haul, although Clinton had more on hand at the end of January. Federal election reports filed as the Nevada results were announced showed Sanders had raised $21.3 million in January and had $14.7 million on hand. In January, Hillary raised $13.2 million from individual donors and had $32.9 million on hand.

Some black voters said on Saturday they did not see a reason to switch their loyalty away from Clinton, a fondness that dates back to her husband Bill Clinton’s presidency but which was strained by her bitter primary battle with Barack Obama in 2008.

Asked who he was backing, Thomas Anderson, an African-American in Columbia, South Carolina, said on Saturday: “Hillary, of course.”

“She’s got more experience. She knows what the country needs,” he said, adding “Bernie’s a cool guy. I’m down with Bernie too.”

Clinton’s embrace of Obama’s presidential legacy, and her argument that Sanders would begin to unravel some of Obama’s policies on healthcare and other issues, also has made an impression.

Darien Gambrell, 23, said she heard Clinton planned to continue a number of Obama’s policies.

“I think that’s a good thing. I liked some of his ideas, even the ones that didn’t seem to work at first,” she said, adding she would not want a candidate who would reverse Obama’s work.


(Additional reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jane Ross in Nevada, Emily Flitter and Steve Holland in South Carolina, Michelle Conlin in New York, Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Stuart Grudgings)

Photo: Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after rival candidate Hillary Clinton was projected as the winner in the Nevada Democratic caucuses as he appears at a rally in Henderson, Nevada February 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young 



  1. patrick g van meter February 22, 2016

    You’re dead wrong on this. The momentum is still with Sanders. He hasn’t lost ground. He is still gaining. Thats momentum. You really have to wonder why blacks would stick with Clinton who would be an Obama third term. Obama has been a disappointment to all of us. The only reason IMO that we will win is because the GOP doesn’t have anyone that can beat us. If we don’t elect Sanders, it will be more of the same. Maybe even worse. At least the Obamas appear to be a decent family. Sorry ladies. I would love to vote for a female Pres., but HRC ain’t the one.

    1. Paul Bass February 22, 2016

      In your dreams…

      1. patrick g van meter February 22, 2016

        I said he had momentum. I didn’t say I thought he could win. I don’t think he can. I just think he is the best choice. For me, he is the only choice.

    2. jmprint February 22, 2016

      He has been a disappointment to you that whine about nothing, even though you are doing better today then 8 years ago. President Obama is the best president we have had in a long time, it hasn’t been easy working with a bunch of worthless people in congress. Mitch Mconnell is your problem, he is the root to no progress. Why aren’t you disappointed in him? At least President Obama has had many good accomplishments for our country.

      1. patrick g van meter February 22, 2016

        TPP, ACA just to name a couple things I don’t think are right for the country. I am a socialist so that should explain how I feel about the GOP. If you think it is going to be any easier working with the GOP, I have news for you. If you think Obama is the best president we have had in a long time, give me some reasons and don’t blame the GOP for his failures. He should have done single payer. Instead, he went with insurance co. instead of the people. The same will happen with TPP. Sold out to corporations.
        I live on SS and a pension. No cost of living increase again thanks to Obama. None of the middle class is doing any better than they were 8 years ago. You probably believe the unemployment figures. Total BS. These are just some facts. You are probably not interested.

      2. RED February 22, 2016

        And for too long that’s been the yardstick, are you doing a little better than you were when everything crashed! A lot of folks don’t want to be just doing better than not homeless. Intelligent people can look around the world and see that we may be doing better than we were 8 years ago but there’s a whole lot of countries who are doing way better than us. And I don’t mean just economic indicators. I meant they live longer healthier lives, they have more time to spend with family, they don’t go bankrupt if they’re diagnosed with cancer, they don’t start their adult lives $50,000 in debt for an education, their elderly aren’t living near poverty and choosing between food or medicine, if they’re lucky, they don’t have the distinction of being the largest incarcerator of human beings while laughably referring to themselves as the “land of the free.” So, I think Obama has been a good President for the most part and has done some things to move us forward. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream and push for more for ourselves and our children and our future.

        1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

          Taking a ‘walk the plank’ with a questionably electable candidate like Bernie isn’t going to help progress much – to say the least. I do like him, have for YEARS – but sometimes you have to realize that nirvana isn’t happening NOW just because you want it to. Going back@sswards on Obamacare, climate change, Supreme Court picks – not desirable.

  2. itsfun February 22, 2016

    I don’t see winning by 5 or 6 % when you had a 25% lead 30 days earlier as any kind of mandate. I don’t think Bernie is going away anytime soon if at all. Don ‘t forget the FBI investigation is still ongoing and who knows what will happen there.

    1. jmprint February 22, 2016

      We already know about the wasted tax dollars you republicans like to spend on no end investigations. We are not worried.

      1. itsfun February 22, 2016

        Not worried about what? The classified emails have already been proven. If you don’t care about national security, its okay with me.

        1. ray February 22, 2016

          They were not classified at the time.

          1. itsfun February 22, 2016

            Some of them maybe, but anybody in the position of Secretary of State that cannot tell the difference between any ole email and a top secret government document (stamped or not) is not qualified to be the Commander in Chief of our nation.

          2. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

            And if she did not turn all of the emails and/or wiped her server clean after being named in an investigation we are all screwed.

        2. Insinnergy February 22, 2016

          You know… if you say “Benghazi” three times fast, Trey Gowdy appears and gives you positive political spin and a blowj*b.

          1. itsfun February 22, 2016

            Say jerk three times real fast and see who you see in your mirror

        3. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

          “After the fact” re-classified, that is. And Trump stars in jihadi recruiting – that sure helps national security???

          1. itsfun February 22, 2016

            As I said anybody in the position of SOS that can’t tell the difference between any kind of email and a top secret government document (marked or not) is not qualified to be the Commander in Chief of this nation. Trump only stars in jihadi recruiting according to Hillary. I am yet to see Trump barking like a dog on national TV.

    2. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

      CNN/ORC poll, posted Thursday on Real Clear Politics – had Clinton 48, Sanders 47. Sanders sure didn’t ‘surge’ in the last several days; all the coverage was that it was going to be so tight – turned out, not quite so much.

      1. itsfun February 22, 2016

        I know, just saying Bernie won’t be going away anytime soon. five or six points is fairly tight. He has gained more support than most of us would have given him a chance to.

  3. paulyz February 22, 2016

    Many Millions of $ spent by both Hillary & Sanders, while they both cry about campaign finance.

    1. jmprint February 22, 2016

      Trump is another one of those rich welfare inductees. Your taxes have helped him with plenty of tax abatements and bankruptcies. He cries about China taking our jobs and he himself gets his products from China and Mexico.

      1. spktruth200 February 22, 2016

        His workers at Trump International in Vegas are in a huge fight with him right now over low wages….

    2. spktruth200 February 22, 2016

      Bernie isn’t crying for money….WE SUPPORTERS GIVE him all he needs. Hilary yeah she is broke…guess she will have to head to her friends and wallstreet for more…

      1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

        My friends and I aren’t wealthy – and we’ve given to Hillary – so that is PURE BS! that only St. Bernie is ‘the people’s’ choice.
        Bernie TOOK Dem $ (much from WALL ST) for his ’06 Senate race – so much for his holier-than-thou stuff.

    3. Insinnergy February 22, 2016


  4. Paul Bass February 22, 2016

    Why would the vast middle of the Democratic party vote for someone far to the left of them? Someone who wasn’t even a democrat till he ran for President? Yes, Bernie WILL have trouble broadening his appeal.

    1. spktruth200 February 22, 2016

      Bernie’s appeals to young people millions of them…we are sick of the center right establishment keeping this country from moving forward. Billionaires and millionaires OWN this country, we are an oligharch nation…for the educated people that means we have to over turn it and take this country back to WE the people, not we the corporations.

      1. RED February 22, 2016

        Amen Brother!!! This Gen X’er fully agrees!!

      2. drdroad February 22, 2016

        Big problem, the ‘young voters’ you speak of make up the demographic that is the most reluctant to vote. If you disagree with the article, you’re not thinking straight, you’re verbalizing your hopes.

      3. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

        I realize the Bern will be too old to run again – but 2016 isn’t quite yet the year for the US to enter into the democratic ‘socialist utopia’. I’d prefer a continuation of Obama’s incremental progress – to a failed attempt at some great leap forward (and resulting backslide into a MORE regressive, tax-cuts-for-the-1% type government – among other bad policies).

    2. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

      Maybe because the other candidate is under several investigations? What happens if she is indicted? Will she step away from the nomination?

      1. Paul Bass February 22, 2016

        You’ve been watching Fox too much, there is nothing there. Only in your fevered Tea Party dreams will HRC EVER get indicted. You can’t be indicted for Fox lies, dream on.

        1. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

          Actually these are real criminal investigations under a Democratic administration. If she did not turn over all the emails or wiped her server clean after being notified of the investigation we are screwed and Trump is President. Hopefully these investigations will be over before the nominee is selected.

          1. Insinnergy February 22, 2016

            You are a four-star loon.
            Please go back to baying the word “Benghazi” at the moon.

          2. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

            Do you understand the difference between an FBI criminal investigation and a GOP lead House investigation (witch hunt)? Do you understand that if the FBI comes back and determines that she either did not turn over all her work related emails or wiped the server clean after becoming the target of this investigation? You do understand if that happens that Loretta Lynch will have to charge her. Is it worth that risk of we have another viable alternative (Bernie)

          3. Paul Bass February 23, 2016

            Again, stop listening to Fox…

          4. Paul Bass February 23, 2016

            Slowly take off your tin hat and back away from Fox…

  5. Eleanore Whitaker February 22, 2016

    The real problem for Bernie Sanders? Until he decided to run for president few in states like NY or NJ heard of the man. Such is his opacity.

    It is obvious some forget that there is NO WAY to force businesses and the 1% to ante up. We are talking about THE MOST privileged Americans who can outspend and find more loopholes, not to mention politicians they can buy for political patronage.

    No matter how men in the US ignore it, 44 presidents have all been males. The only women who are voting for Sanders want a man to take care of them. They loathe independent women like Hillary and Elizabeth Warren because they can take care of themselves.

    Men in the US need to realize no matter how holy and pure SAnders tries to appear, women with any political savvy aren’t falling for it.

    1. spktruth200 February 22, 2016

      News for you Eleanor….Bernie is beating Hilary in huge margins. Hilary has elderly women, while all the young are going with Bernie. We don’t fall for the vote for her cuz he is a woman, you should google: Clinton and super predators the most comment I have heard in my life..

      1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

        Bernie gets young whites and white liberals – he’s quite weak elsewhere – and he sure doesn’t pull in more voters, as Obama did – he’s nowhere CLOSE to Obama’s popularity.

        1. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

          Actually more popular than Obama at this time in the race. It is still very very early. This race will be decided in NY, CA, TX , IL and PA none of which are dominated by the blacks. Currently Bernie has a higher approval rating than Obama especially with the Latinos who appear to be rallying for Bernie and for good reason. The Latinos may decide this primary assuming Hillary is not indicted.

    2. Charlotte Sines February 22, 2016

      Women who support Bernie do not need a man to take care of them and we do love women like Elizabeth Warren but we do not support Hillary just because she is a woman . We support Bernie because he’s honest, trustworthy and consistent . I will never vote for anyone just because of their gender and I have plenty of political savvy. I have lived and supported myself for most of my life by my own choice. I just don’t hate men like some do.

      1. Wrily February 23, 2016

        Thank you!

    3. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

      Sorry not gonna vote for someone just because they have a vagina.

  6. spktruth200 February 22, 2016

    What a ridiculous and politically sad piece of propaganda. Nate Silver the polling genius said yesterday Sanders will win this election, and he even beats trump. Problem for Clinton, under Federal Law she can not hold public office…Federal Title 18 prevents her from doing so because of the email server controversy.

    1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

      1) Not at all sure about all of your poll information; I can’t believe Sanders’ numbers would hold up if Repubs attack HIM, too – for a change, on his pie-in-the-sky stuff 2) Funny that almost ALL elected Democrats are backing Hillary – I guess THEY aren’t too worried.

  7. laurele February 22, 2016

    The bias in this article is unbelievable. Sanders’ campaign did not “fall back to Earth”; Saturday was NOT a bad day for Sanders; Nevada did not “put out the Bern,” and Hillary does not “have all the momentum going forward.” Did this writer never learn the difference between opinion and objective news reporting in journalism? The quotes chosen are one sided in favor of Hillary, and the one quote by a Sanders supporter is quickly rejected in a heavily one-sided statement. This is the typical media firewall Sanders has faced from the beginning. When will the media stop trying to make the news and start reporting it?

    1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

      You’ve GOT to be kidding! PBS, NBC, Politico – SO much pro-Sanders stuff – that’s what gave him his earlier momentum. All the articles about Sanders’ poll numbers – NO mention of the fact that Republicans only seem to criticize Hillary – and the OBVIOUS reason they won’t diss Bernie. Hint: It’s not exactly because they’re trembling in fear of running against a ‘socialist’.

  8. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 22, 2016

    Many may disagree with the article, especially those who are so attached to a particular personality. That’s the seductive trap of partisan-politics coupled with media spin.

    A “creative” mixture consisting of man-made concepts that sprung from the “loins” of political/philosophical systems developed by those “Africans” who migrated to Europe is not the answer.

    Patching up a structure that was initially put together by noble ideas borrowed from a “European” diaspora doesn’t seem to be a viable option anymore, given the bursting at the seams and rotting out of the “timber” of that structure.

    Giving up and old and dearly-loved “house” is traumatic and hard to walk away
    from—but the time always comes when rebuilding is a necessity. Now seems to be that moment to rebuild. A fundamental change in human behavior by all(or at least a majority), impelled by a new external regenerating force, will be required.

    The current “political house” has to be allowed to fade away despite having outshone other regional and national systems that have been conceived in the past, and an entirely new structure erected in its place.

    Until that time, a united effort to equitably apply what already exists seems to be the most logical and sensible choice—a reference by name to a system perceived as largely “european” is perhaps not wise.

    I’ve previously suggested an alternative—one that didn’t originate with me, thankfully.

    The new system will have to be able to meld the best from all previous systems created by humankind with a new methodology/framework as outlined in the Baha’i Administrative Order.

    Just my opinion.

  9. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

    Does anyone know of Hillary will step down from the nomination if she is indicted by any of the investigations that are currently pending?

    1. Insinnergy February 22, 2016

      Hmmm let’s see.
      How many times has HRC been investigated?
      How many times have these investigations not only been dismissed, but actually loudly proven to be complete fabrications?

      It’s cute you think there’s a “there” there.

      1. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

        How many times has she been the subject of several non partisan criminal investigations under a Democratic administration? Zero. I would feel a lot better if she went on the record that if she is indicted that she will step away from the nomination. My fear is she will not step down if charged with high crimes and would be defeated.

        1. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

          Apparently, the VAST majority of Democratic representatives, senators, and governors have endorsed Hillary – they must not be too petrified of any negative outcome. Even Elizabeth Warren hasn’t endorsed Bernie; only TWO US Representatives have (out of hundreds).

          1. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

            We will see when these investigations are completed. Until then it is all speculation. I just wish she would go on the record that if she is indicted then she will step away.

    2. Andrew Freeland February 22, 2016

      Who cares if Repubs launch and fund 10000 ‘investey-gations’? They’re ALL patently obvious scandalmongering, from a crowd with unpopular policies – such as NO healthcare, tax cuts for the wealthy, and far-right Supreme Court picks.

      1. A_Real_Einstein February 22, 2016

        The Criminal investigations that are being conducted are not Republican led. These were referred to the FBI (non partisan) by Obama’s Justice Dept. So if she is charged, then what?

  10. JohnJ February 22, 2016

    I have heard that some dirtbags bought the National Memo and this is the result, propping up the corporate candidate over the people’s candidate. Can somebody here tell us who the buyers are?

    1. JohnJ February 22, 2016

      Sorry – I guess its a different outlet. Joe Conason has always been The National Memo guy and he’s a Hillary supporter. Very disappointing that he spins the whole thing this way. I used to like The National Memo. Bernie is the only chance we have had in a long time and you know enough to have a mostly progressive site and yet go for business as usual – horrible.

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