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Late Delegate Shift May Give Sanders Win In Nevada

| by Robert Fowler
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of VermontDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont may have lost the battle of the Nevada caucuses but he may ultimately win that state’s war of delegates.

On Feb. 20, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won Nevada by roughly 53 percent of the vote, initially slated to collect 20 delegates from the Silver State.

However, Nevada has a unique and complicated process of delineating delegates for the July Democratic Nation Convention. The caucus is merely the first step; the second phase comes with the county conventions. The largest of these is the Clark County Democratic Convention, home to Las Vegas, Washington Post reports.

The county conventions were held April 2.

Phase three will be the state convention, which will decide the remaining 12 delegates.

Based purely on the February caucuses, Clinton won 20 Nevada delegates while Sanders garnered 15. However, following the state conventions, Clinton now has 18 delegates while Sanders has 17.

This turning of the tide was the result of Sanders’ supporters turning out to the conventions in droves, overwhelming the numbers for Clinton’s campaign. The result is that the Sanders campaign will have 300 more delegates than Clinton at the Nevada state convention, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

“We pretty much won Nevada,” said Nevada director Joan Kato of the Sanders’ campaign.

The outstanding turnout for the Sanders campaign was despite the dysfunction of the county conventions. Attendees of the Clark County Democratic Convention were met with long lines and a lack of organization.

The Clark County Democratic party credentials’ chair Christine Kramar was suspended on the eve of the convention. Her removal was requested by the Clinton campaign, which cited reason to believe that the chairwoman had colluded with the Sanders campaign.

Kramar denied any favoritism and accused the Clinton campaign of requesting radical changes to the credentialing rules of the convention.

Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver complained that the Nevada process of selecting delegates was dysfunctional and that the Democratic National Committee should reconsider scheduling the state as one of the first and most influential states of the primary season.

Despite Sanders’ gain in delegates and his possible victory in the Silver State, Clinton currently leads the Vermont senator in Nevada superdelegates, or Democratic Party officials who are not bound to their county popular votes, KTNV reports.

Clinton is currently the front-runner to win the Democratic presidential nomination with 1,243 pledged delegates compared to Sanders’ 980. However, the senator is projected to win in the next Democratic Party showdown in Wisconsin April 5.

Sources: Las Vegas Sun, KTNVWashington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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