Sanders Catching Up to Clinton in Nevada
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada was supposed to be one of Hillary Clinton's safest bets.
She already had staff on the ground last spring, weeks before officially announcing her presidential bid. One of her earliest campaign stops was an emotional meeting with immigrant students at a Las Vegas high school. And as recently as last month, her campaign manager was telling supporters she had a 25-point lead in the state.
But in the final days before Saturday's caucuses, Clinton's chances of a big victory look far more like a political crapshoot.
Rival Bernie Sanders, who didn't set up shop in Nevada until months after Clinton's staffers were there, is barnstorming the state, drawing thousands to rallies where they're cheering his promises to fight income equality and crack down on big banks. It's a compelling message in a state that's still struggling to rebound after years of double-digit unemployment.
"It is clear to me when mom is out working, dad is out working and the kids are out working, wages in America are too damn low," Sanders told 1,700 supporters packed into a Las Vegas high school gymnasium on Sunday. "It is not a radical socialist idea to say that when someone is working 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty."
His team is trying to turn the contest into a test of one of Clinton's major arguments: That her ability to woo the diverse voters who make up the Democratic party - and the country - leaves her the most electable candidate for a general election. Nevada is likely to be a general election battleground, giving it continued importance.
A victory on Saturday - or even a narrow loss to Clinton- would give Sanders' campaign a boost heading into the more racially diverse contests of South Carolina and the Southern states that vote just days later on Super Tuesday.