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Nevada Today

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The Revolution Is Now: Reno 411, Redux

While the bulk of the Nevada Democratic Caucus action seemed to unfold in fabulous Las Vegas, most of the campaigns knew they couldn’t ignore the rest of the state, particularly the state’s second most populous county: Washoe. The delegate race proved to be just as hot on the otherwise icy streets of Reno, and all this northern exposure is proving pivotal as the national frontrunner solidifies his lead and the challengers scramble in the fight to become the leading alternative.

First, here’s an update on the statewide count.
Bernie Sanders
Photo by Andrew Davey

Since yesterday, journalist and election data expert Daniel Nichanian has estimated that U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will earn 24 DNC delegates from the Nevada Caucus, while former Vice President Joe Biden earns nine and former South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg earns three. However since the caucus counts are not final and have not yet been corrected for errors in various precincts, Nichanian and others have warned that the final Nevada DNC delegate count may change.

Nonetheless, it’s virtually guaranteed that Sanders will earn at least 23 pledged DNC delegates from Nevada. Keep in mind that we have six subsets of pledged DNC delegates being awarded here: five statewide pledged party leaders and elected officials (PLEO), eight statewide at-large, five from NV-01, six from NV-02, six from NV-03, and six from NV-04.

Photo by Andrew Davey

Notice those six delegates from NV-02? That right there is a major reason why Washoe County, the most populous county in the congressional district, matters. And as you’re about to see below, Washoe generated more than enough turnout to hold sway over the statewide results. Just as we did in the Las Vegas Valley yesterday, we’re revisiting the Truckee Meadows precincts covered in our post-2018 election “Blueprint for a Blue Wave” series and finding them on the Los Angeles Times’ 2020 caucus precinct map to give you a better sense of why Sanders is winning so “huge!”, how Buttigieg managed to avoid leaving Nevada empty-handed, and why Biden’s DNC delegate count will probably stay in single digits.

Washoe Precinct 5056 (Downtown Reno, west of Virginia Street and along the Truckee River)
Photo by Andrew Davey

2020 (County Convention) Delegate Count

Sanders 4

Buttigieg 3

Klobuchar 3

Warren 3

27.26% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 5006 (Old Northwest Reno, near the University of Nevada)

2020 Delegate Count

Sanders 4

Buttigieg 3

Klobuchar 3

Warren 2

18.05% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 1000 (Midtown/Old Southwest Reno)

2020 Delegate Count

Biden 1

Buttigieg 1

Klobuchar 1

Sanders 1

Warren 1

21.25% of registered Democrats turned out

Photo by Andrew Davey

Unlike the urban core of Las Vegas, where Biden was at least able to earn some delegates alongside Sanders, his delegate haul was far more modest in Reno. While the demographics of Reno (whiter and more college educated) might explain some of why Biden underperformed here, it doesn’t explain entirely, as Biden earned delegates in quite a few suburban but otherwise demographically similar neighborhoods in Las Vegas.

Yet while Biden barely registered, Sanders mostly dominated. Even in Midtown Reno’s Precinct 1000, the kind of upscale and college-educated neighborhood where Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) were expected to surge, they could only fight to a draw with Sanders, Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).

Washoe Precinct 6110 (Downtown Sparks, near Victorian Square)
Photo by Andrew Davey

2020 Delegate Count

Sanders 5

Warren 4

17.73% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 6313 (Sparks – D’Andrea)

2020 Delegate Count

Klobuchar 3

Biden 2

Buttigieg 2 

Sanders 2

21.96% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 7314 (Sun Valley, north of Reno)

2020 Delegate Count

Sanders 4

Steyer 3

9.48% of registered Democrats turned out

Elizabeth Warren
Photo by Andrew Davey

In Sparks’ Precinct 6313 in the leafy D’Andrea neighborhood, Klobuchar’s and Buttigieg’s “suburban strategy” fared better, as they scored well in this swing precinct that swung toward Democrats in the 2018 general election. In the more blue-collar region of Sun Valley, however, Buttigieg had a far smaller delegate haul while Klobuchar barely got any. And in Downtown Sparks, we see another example of Warren showing broad enough appeal to collect delegates throughout the Truckee Meadows.

Washoe Precinct 2041 (South Reno – Damonte Ranch)
Photo by Andrew Davey

2020 Delegate Count

Buttigieg 3

Klobuchar 3

Warren 3

Biden 2

34.48% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 8100 (Southwest Reno, just west of McCarran Blvd. and mostly south of the Truckee River)

2020 Delegate Count

Klobuchar 2

Biden 1

Buttigieg 1

Sanders 1

14.70% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 1007 (Southwest Reno – Caughlin Ranch)

2020 Delegate Count

Klobuchar 3

Biden 2

Sanders 2

Warren 2

37.98% of registered Democrats turned out

Washoe Precinct 1023 (Southwest Reno – Caughlin Ranch)

2020 Delegate Count

Klobuchar 3

Buttigieg 2

Biden 1

37.06% of registered Democrats turned out

Amy Klobuchar, Culinary Union, Democratic Debate
Photo by Andrew Davey

Finally, we head south to the most affluent of Reno’s hillside suburbs. Here more than everywhere else, Klobuchar and Buttigieg scored hefty delegate hauls in more (upper) middle class areas like Damonte Ranch as well as more exclusively high-income areas like Caughlin Ranch. Yet even here, Warren and Sanders often found just enough progressive voters fond of “political revolution” and/or “big, structural change” to give them delegates.

So if you were wondering why Warren came painfully close to landing a delegate from NV-02 and why Biden also got shut out of the DNC delegate race up north, now you know. Warren’s organization was at least decent enough for her to finish third in Washoe County amidst bad headlines emanating from New Hampshire, while Biden’s lack of organization landed him in fifth place, below Warren and Klobuchar. 

And just as we witnessed down in Clark County, Sanders collected delegates throughout Washoe County. While he fared best in urban core precincts that are the most diverse and/or have the most young progressive voters, he even managed to collect delegates in some of the upscale precincts where we expected him to fare the worst against Buttigieg and Klobuchar. Keep all this in mind next time you see a national media pundit yell about who can build Democrats’ broadest and strongest coalition to take on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Photo by Andrew Davey
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