Hillary Clinton was projected the winner of the Nevada Democratic caucus on Saturday.
Fox News and NBC called the race in favor of Clinton at about 2:15 P.M. local time. Clinton was capturing 53 percent of the vote with 85 percent of precincts reporting Saturday afternoon. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) trailed Clinton with 47 percent of the vote among Democratic caucus-goers.
Clinton’s win in Nevada signified a comeback for the former secretary of state following a significant 22-point loss in New Hampshire and a narrow win in the Iowa caucus earlier this month.
The Clinton campaign was managing expectations following the results in Iowa and New Hampshire, putting emphasis on later-voting states with more diverse voter populations.
“Whereas the electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire are largely rural/suburban and predominantly white, the March states better reflect the true diversity of the Democratic Party and the nation,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in a memo following the New Hampshire loss. “Hispanics and African Americans play a critical role in who we are as a party and who we are as a nation.”
Recent polls, including one from the Washington Free Beacon, indicated that Clinton and Sanders were locked in a virtual tie in Nevada. A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday had Clinton capturing 48 percent of support among likely caucus-goers, with 47 percent going to Sanders.
The Democratic candidates will now focus their attention on South Carolina, where a primary will take place next Saturday. Clinton holds a commanding lead over Sanders in the state, according to recent polling.
Still, speculation has swirled about whether Sanders’ popularity among young voters could shrink Clintons’ lead in South Carolina. Recent reports have indicated that young black voters are more open to Sanders’ candidacy.
While Clinton was widely viewed as the frontrunner for the nomination when she announced her campaign, her national lead has eroded as she continues to be scrutinized for her use of private, unsecured email while working at the State Department. The FBI is currently investigating her email setup, and Clinton has been forced to defend her honesty amid criticism.
The State Department released its latest batch of Clinton emails to the public the day before the Nevada Democratic caucus. The number of the former secretary of state’s emails containing classified information rose to 1,730.
The agency has blocked the release of nearly two-dozen Clinton emails containing top secret information because of their high sensitivity. Clinton has insisted that she never sent or received information marked classified on her private email.
A pair of polls out this week indicated that Clinton’s edge over Sanders nationally had vanished.