Posted at 4:32 p.m. on Feb. 20
HENDERSON, Nev. — Hillary Clinton’s victory in the Nevada caucuses was in large part due to high turnout for her in Clark County, home to Las Vegas and its immediate suburbs, such as this one.
That interest in the race was evident at Del Webb Middle School here, the home caucus precinct for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, where long registration lines delayed the scheduled noon start of the first-in-the-West presidential contest. News outlets began calling it for Clinton in her race against Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., around 2:15 Pacific Time.
The delays lead to some light moments, such as when Reid’s precinct chairwoman asked if she should read the senior senator’s letter to Democratic caucus-goers aloud.
“No!” Reid replied. That got a laugh. But the 40 people gathered in Precinct 1519 had plenty of time if they wished. Caucus rules dictate that everyone in line needed to get through to start any of the several precinct caucuses here at Del Webb. (There were similar reports across the state of delays.) So they waited. Reid intended to stay uncommitted, and he and his wife Landra sat in the part of the room set aside for uncommitted caucusers.
Organizers didn’t want to talk about how many people they expected nor how many showed up, but lines snaked throughout the school’s courtyard. Paula Naegle, Del Webb’s principal, estimated twice as many people showed as in 2008.
“It was nothing like this,” she said, adding, “It’s wonderful!”
Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns heavily targeted the Latinos vote and union households before the vote. Latinos, which made up 19 percent of caucus-goers on Saturday, went for Sanders, 53 percent to Clinton’s 45 percent, according to CNN polling. But African-Americans, who made up 13 percent of those who turned out, went heavily for Clinton, 76 percent to 22 percent. Whites, making up 59 percent of those who turned out, went narrowly for Sanders, 49 percent to 47 percent.