Sanders may have lost Nevada, but he won over the crucial Hispanic vote

Sanders is pulling ahead with Latinos.
Sanders is pulling ahead with Latinos.
Image: Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Bernie Sanders may have fallen short against Hillary Clinton in Nevada today (Feb. 20), but there was a silver lining: The Vermont senator won 53% of the vote among Hispanic voters, in the first diverse state to hold its caucus, according to entrance polls.

Young voters were the difference: Sanders won 68% to 28% lead among minorities under 45 years old, showing that he resonates with millennials in Nevada, regardless of race, just as much as he did in New Hampshire and Iowa.

But, as FiveThirtyEight noted, Nevada’s voters are mostly old. And the support of millennials and the Latino community wasn’t enough to edge out Clinton, who won the Nevada Democratic caucus with 52% of the vote.

Entrance polls aren’t foolproof. As some pundits have said, in this particular case, they leave out Nevada’s most-populated county—Clark County. And, as Vox notes, they have incorrectly predicted the Latino vote in the past.

But based on the data currently on hand, 70% of voters who showed up to the polls today were over the age of 45. Among that group, Clinton led with two-thirds of the vote. She was also ahead with non-white voters overall, winning by a huge margin with black voters.

Clinton still has strong support among older Hispanic voters—a divide that was highlighted when Sanders supporters reportedly interrupted efforts by civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta, to provide Spanish translation at a rally at Harrahs casino.

Actress America Ferrara, who was on site, tweeted that Sanders’ supporters were chanting ”English-only” to prevent Huerta from speaking. Huerta later confirmed the allegation.

Huerta, who has endorsed Clinton, called out Sanders in a post on Medium this week for voting for bills and deportation programs that he has since criticized.

The results in Nevada are particularly crucial, because it is the first state with a significant minority population to vote for a presidential nominee, and is expected to set the tone for how influential minorities will be in the race. Four in 10 Nevada caucus-goers were from a racial minority group, which is a stronger turnout than in previous Democratic contests.

This post has been updated.