Monday, February 24, 2020
Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada caucuses, and it looks like he’s going to win them by a big, perhaps even landslide margin.
In a few short hours, Nevada Democrats will start caucusing, so it’s time for FiveThirtyEight to freeze its forecast to get a final look at where things stand prior to Nevada’s vote. That means no new information will be added and that candidates’ odds won’t update until after the caucus results are available — hopefully tonight, if another Iowa-esque disaster can be avoided.
With 60 percent of precincts reporting in Nevada, it’s time for us to turn our 2020 primary forecast back on, as we think the results we have are pretty representative and the topline picture appears set. Sen. Bernie Sanders won, and he won big. As of the time of this writing, he leads the initial popular vote in Nevada by 16 percentage points. He also gained the most votes on realignment: He leads the final, realigned popular vote by 21 points and is even further ahead, 26 points, in county convention delegates. In short, he’s projected to receive the bulk of Nevada’s 36 national convention delegates. Here’s The New York Times’s results (they seem to have more of the result in than other outlets):
The results in Nevada will likely have a meaningful effect on the overall race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Coming into Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders is a strong favorite to win Nevada — FiveThirtyEight’s forecast gives him about a 6 in 7 chance of finishing first there. But how much he wins by — or whether he wins at all — will also affect what the race looks like coming out of the Silver State. Although Sanders is favored, there’s still a chance that someone else wins Nevada — not only does our forecast have him losing in about 1 out of every 7 simulations, but Wednesday’s debate hasn’t been fully factored into the polls yet, which in turn means it hasn’t been fully factored into our model. In other words, don’t be completely surprised if there’s a surprise on Saturday.