Bernie Sanders cements front runner status with Nevada win
LAS VEGAS: Broad-based support across age, racial and ideological groups propelled Mr Bernie Sanders to a dominant victory in Nevada's Democratic caucuses, tightening his grip on the front-runner spot in the race to find a challenger to US President Donald Trump.
Mr Joe Biden, the former vice-president, appeared headed to a badly needed second-place finish in Nevada after poor showings earlier this month in the first two nominating contests in the Democratic presidential race ahead of the Nov 3 election.
Mr Sanders' triumph on Saturday in the first racially diverse state in the campaign suggested he was reaching a broader coalition of Democratic voters with his unapologetic message of social and economic justice, including his signature pledge to provide universal healthcare for all Americans.
The job is much harder for Mr Biden and other moderates who argue Mr Sanders is too liberal to beat Mr Trump and who have been trying to blunt his momentum.
"We have put together a multi-generational, multiracial coalition that is going to not only win in Nevada, it's going to sweep the country," Mr Sanders told cheering supporters in San Antonio, Texas.
With 50 per cent of the precincts reporting, Mr Sanders had 47 per cent of the county convention delegates in Nevada.
Mr Biden, a distant second with 19 per cent, was ahead of former mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who was in third place with 15 per cent.
"The press is ready to declare people dead quickly, but we're alive and we're coming back and we're gonna win," Mr Biden told supporters in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Senator Elizabeth Warrentrailed in a disappointing fourth with 10 per cent in Nevada. Senator Amy Klobuchar and activist billionaire Tom Steyer were well back at 5 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively. - REUTERS