2020 Vision Election Blog: Senator Sanders Takes the Lead


Nicole Markus, Print Editor-in-Chief

The Nevada Caucus:

With a generally narrowing Democratic field, the race for the nomination looks clearer than before. After Nevada, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders leads in delegates, according to 270 to Win. He earned 46.8% of the total vote in Nevada, earning 14 delegates. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second place, however there was a huge dropoff between him and Sanders. Biden only earned 20.4% of the vote and four delegates, showing a significant difference between the amount of his supporters who attended compared to Sanders. This loss will hit Biden hard, as he originally expected to win in Nevada.

Coming in a solid third is former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has earned the second most amount of delegates since primaries started in early February and earned two delegates in Nevada. 


What the Polls Show:

Sanders has shown his supporters can show up in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. However, according to new polls, he also leads the Democratic ticket nationwide. According to 270 to Win, averages for polls nationwide show Sanders (polling at 28.3%) up over Biden (polling at 17%) by 11.3%. Following Biden is former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, polling at 15%. National polls show Sanders up, and individual states’ polls tell the same tale. This makes him the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. 


What Comes Next:

South Carolina, on Feb. 29. It is the state Biden is staking his entire presidential bid on. If he does not win or come close to a win in South Carolina, his chances of receiving the nomination will diminish significantly. It is risky to place so much weight on one state, but Biden has ensured voters he will win in South Carolina where he has a strong supporter base.

Of course, after South Carolina comes Super Tuesday. On March 3, 34.1% of all delegates will be pledged in a total of 16 state contests. It is the biggest day of the primary circuit before the Democratic convention, and the states will pledge 1,357 delegates by the time the day ends. 

These two days will likely dictate who receives the nomination. While it looks increasingly like Sanders will receive the nomination, it is still anyone’s game in terms of delegates. Even though he leads in delegates right now, under four percent of the delegates have been pledged to date. The real test will come in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.