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Saturday, July 13, 2024

President Biden Secures Decisive Victory in Nevada Democratic Primary

President Biden clinched a commanding victory on Tuesday in Nevada’s Democratic presidential primary, marking his second win in the party’s nominating contests with token opposition.

The Associated Press swiftly declared Mr. Biden the victor shortly after polls closed in Nevada, adding to his momentum after securing 96 percent of the vote in South Carolina’s primary just days earlier.

Similar to South Carolina, Mr. Biden was the sole Democratic contender to actively campaign in Nevada. His visit to Las Vegas on Sunday served as both a get-out-the-vote initiative for the primary and the launch of his general-election campaign in a state anticipated to be a pivotal battleground.

Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, one of Mr. Biden’s underdog primary challengers, did not appear on the ballot due to his late entry into the race, missing Nevada’s access deadline. Despite winning 20 percent of the vote in New Hampshire and placing third in South Carolina, Mr. Phillips has redirected his efforts towards Michigan, which holds its Democratic primary on Feb. 27.

While the Nevada primary lacked competitiveness, the state’s general elections are traditionally closely contested. Mr. Biden, who narrowly secured victory in 2020, will once again rely on robust support from the state’s sizable Hispanic electorate, many of whom are employed in Las Vegas’s bustling entertainment and hospitality sectors. Mr. Biden’s visit to unionized casino and hotel workers, who had just concluded contract negotiations, underscored his commitment to these vital demographics.

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, hailed Nevada’s primary as emblematic of the party’s dedication to empowering voters of color and engaging diverse coalitions essential to Democratic success. He emphasized the significance of making the electoral process more accessible to all citizens.

Mr. Biden’s resounding triumph in Nevada coincided with the state’s inaugural presidential primary since its elevation on the nominating calendar in 2008. In previous cycles, Nevada held Democratic caucuses, but after Senator Bernie Sanders’s victory in 2020 and Mr. Biden’s subsequent second-place finish, calls for reform emerged.

Former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, a pivotal figure in Nevada’s early influence on presidential nominations, advocated for replacing the caucus system with a statewide primary. Following his recommendation, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada signed legislation establishing a presidential primary and a statewide vote-by-mail system.

Nevada’s revamped voting process has enabled it to maintain its position near the forefront of the Democratic National Committee’s presidential nominating schedule. In contrast, Iowa, which continues to conduct presidential caucuses, was relegated when South Carolina assumed the role of the new first-in-the-nation state.

As President Biden solidifies his victories in key primary contests, his focus shifts towards mobilizing support across diverse constituencies and preparing for the intensifying battle ahead in the general election. With Nevada’s primary serving as a harbinger of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Mr. Biden’s campaign aims to harness momentum and build a broad coalition capable of securing victory in November.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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