Bernie Sanders upset in Nevada; how it happened


On February 23rd, Democrats across the Silver State made a choice. They picked Hillary Clinton as the one they thought should be their party's nominee for President. But Bernie Sanders could end up receiving more Nevada delegates than Clinton. How is that possible? Welcome to Nevada's Democratic caucus process. It's one that is controversial as some voters love it, while others hate it.

In a surprising reversal, Senator Bernie Sanders won the support of 55 percent of Nevada's delegates in the second of a three tier system of picking delegates. As for that vote on February 20th, Political Science Professor Fred Lokken exlains adding, "It was the start of a process and in the process apparently things can change the will effect what you thought the winners and losers were going to be.

The switch happened at the County Convention in Clark County. That's the same county credited with giving Clinton the win in the Silver State back in February. Lokken said, "So you go from a 10% win in Clark County to a feeling that she was robbed."

Bernie Sanders delegate Paul Catha said it wasn't that Clinton delegates in Clark County changed their minds and switched over to support Sanders. He and others said Clinton delegates just didn't show up. He has a theory about that adding, "They may not be as passionate about here. Not that they don't think she is a good candidate, they're just not to the same level of excitement as Bernie Sanders supporters."

The numbers support his theory. In February nearly 9,000 Clinton delegates were elected in February but only 3,825 showed up. An additional 915 elected alternates and 604 un-elected alternates showed up in Clark County.

Political Science Professor Fred Lokken said this has happened to Clinton in Nevada before when she was running against Barack Obama. He said, "This happened to Hillary Clinton in 2008. There should have been a firewall this time to make sure it didn't happen again. So, there's a responsibility that falls on her organization."

Lokken said this is why some voters don't like the caucus process. Citizens who caucused in February for Hillary Clinton might feel cheated. He said, "The average person that touches the party process feels its dirty." Lokken said, "I would challenge the Democratic Party to bring this process into a form and method that is appealing to the people, not the smoke and mirrors, typical games of party partisans."

He said that disenchantment with the process to select a party nominee runs in both parties. He said, "The primary caucus season was supposed to be designed in a way that would willow down the candidates to make a clear winner on both the Democrat and Republican side going into the summer convention for both, but boy, that has not worked out this year."

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