LAUGHLIN — Saturday was the day for Nevada’s Democratic Caucus, the third stop for the Democratic hopefuls in the 2020 presidential election.
Bennett Elementary was the site for Laughlin’s nominating event which drew a large crowd of voters.
The nation’s eyes were on Nevada, as it’s more racially diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 74% of Nevadans identify as white, 10% identify as black, and 29% identify as Hispanic or Latino. That’s a tremendous shift from New Hampshire and Iowa, in which over 90% of the residents identify as white.
Following the chaos in Iowa, where an application that tabulated and reported election results crashed, the Nevada Democratic Party, which was supposed to use the same application, announced it was going to resort to using iPads and a Google form.
Joe Biden, coming off fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, led in Nevada polls until a week before the Nevada caucuses, when Bernie Sanders surged into first, fresh off a New Hampshire primary win.
Sanders was declared the Nevada winner with Biden second as votes continued to be counted.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg was not on the ballot in Nevada — he made his debate debut earlier in the week in Las Vegas — after also skipping Iowa and New Hampshire.
In Laughlin, the rain changed the plans of many people, but many Democrats still pressed on in their quest to unseat President Donald Trump in November.
Around 30 people braved the rain and wind to make it out to the Laughlin elementary school to cast their official votes for the Democratic candidate of their choice.
Standing outside under the overhang outside the multi-purpose room at Bennett, a handful of folks milled about talking about the day and their candidates’ chances of winning in the coming national election. Inside, the faithful found their areas to sit in based on the swag that represented their chosen candidate. In the back row, a bench was covered in Tom Steyer gear: T-shirts, signs, buttons and stickers. The Steyer rep stated that he was simply there as a “volunteer for Tom” and not voting. Not far from him sat two Laughlin women, both sporting Steyer stickers and waiting patiently for noon to roll around so they could cast their votes.
One man showed up in Pete Buttigieg gear he said he got for $5 on a street corner. The T-shirt said “San Diegans for Buttigieg,” as did the button, but he said the deal was too good to pass up and the official gear costs $25 or more.
One lone soul sitting all by herself on a bench was the only Bernie Sanders supporter that could be found though Sanders had a double-digit lead on all other contenders in the state.
Nowhere in the building was anything that said Bloomberg to be found. When asked, the volunteer caucus workers quickly said it was because he isn’t on the ballot.
One young man, who still was soaking wet, said he had walked to the school to cast his vote, clearly showing is drive to have his voice recorded.
Site manager Tom Urisni was overseeing the volunteers and the caucus overall and making sure that everything went according to plan in Laughlin. When asked about Nevada’s early voting, he said that between there were 275 Laughlinites who showed up to cast votes during two early voting sessions prior to Saturday’s official caucus.