Nevada Democratic Caucus: Overview and Live Results

February 22, 2020

The Nevada Democratic Party holds its caucuses Saturday.  This was preceded, for the first time, by an early voting period that saw nearly as much voter participation as the entire caucus count in 2016. 

Saturday's caucuses begin at noon local time (3:00 PM ET).  Results will follow - at some point.  The Party plans to have results out today, and hopes to avoid the issues that caused extensive delays in Iowa.  However, this is structurally a similar event, so we'll have to see how it plays out. For its part, the State wants to make clear that it's not on them if there are problems.

As in Iowa, there will be three sets of numbers released. Live results will appear below. 

Round One - First Alignment:  This will be the initial preference of caucusgoers across the state. The percentage results here should be somewhat consistent with the statewide polling that has preceded the caucus (if that proves accurate - there hasn't been a lot of polling here). In the final average, Bernie Sanders had a sizable lead at 30% support, with Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren in the mid-teens. 

Round 2 - Final Alignment: Candidates that don't receive 15% in Round 1 are considered nonviable. However, this threshold is determined at each individual precinct.1 1For example, a candidate receiving 18% statewide in Round 1 may not be viable in all precincts. On the other hand, a candidate at 10% may be viable in some. In Round 2, caucusgoers who have supported a nonviable candidate at their location will have the option to move to a viable candidate2 2Caucusgoers associated with a viable candidate in Round 1 are locked in. This is a change from prior cycles. or join forces with supporters of another nonviable candidate in an attempt to get one of them across the threshold.

Once this is complete, there will be a redistribution of votes cast early associated with nonviable candidates.  The early vote ballot allowed for up to five candidates to be selected, in order of preference. Should an early voter's first choice not be viable, their vote will be cast for the highest-ranking viable candidate.  Note that the number of early voting locations was much smaller than on caucus day. Those voting early could do so at any location in their county. These early ballots will be associated with the voter's home precinct on caucus day.

County Convention Delegates:  The final results are translated into county convention delegates. The person with the most of these is considered the winner.

Pledged Delegates: There are 36 pledged delegates to the national convention that are awarded proportionately based on the county convention delegates - for the most part.  As is the case in other states, a predetermined number of Nevada's delegates convention are awarded based on the statewide vote, with some awarded based on the vote in each congressional district.  Depending on how the results break across the individual districts, there could be a situation where these two results don't perfectly align.3 3This outcome happened in the 2008 Nevada caucuses, where Hillary Clinton won the statewide vote by over 5 points, but Barack Obama ended up with a 13-12 margin in delegates.

Republican Caucus:  There will be no caucuses on the GOP side; they were cancelled by the state party. The 25 delegates will presumably be awarded to President Trump.

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