Presidential hopeful Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE's allies say her win in Nevada on Saturday is a turning point for a campaign that has stumbled against rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersShame on Biden for his Atlanta remarks — but are we surprised? Overnight Health Care — Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19 Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE.
“It's exactly what we needed,” said one longtime Clinton ally, breathing a sigh of relief.
“We needed a decisive win, we needed to push the momentum over to our side. And I think this does it. It stops the bleeding.”
Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, who has not taken sides in the race, said the win in the Democratic Nevada caucuses “is a big deal for Clinton” because it stops Sanders's momentum. It also solidifies the so-called “firewall” that the former first lady's campaign had touted.
Simmons said the win will help Clinton in next week’s contest in South Carolina.
Clinton was declared the winner in Nevada with 52 percent of the vote compared to 48 percent for the Vermont senator.
Clinton allies say Nevada was proof of the fact that her message is finally reaching the electorate. They say that Clinton is building a coalition that will help catapult her to the nomination, including large support among African-Americans in Nevada. She also captured the support of women, something that had eluded her in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
“If she can keep this up, if she can rise to the occasion and appeal to African-Americans, Hispanics, women going forward, we've got this,” said one former aide, who has ties to the presidential campaign.
In the days before the Nevada caucuses, Clintonland was deeply worried about a loss in Nevada. The former secretary of State privately had expressed disappointment and frustration to those in her inner circle in recent weeks.
Clinton had prepared two different speeches for Nevada in case she did in fact lose.
After the win, she seemed fired up in her victory speech in Las Vegas. “Some may have doubted us but we never doubted each other.”
Clintonites say their candidate campaigned hard in the Silver State, particularly in the last two days. She spent the latter part of the week on the Las Vegas strip, going from one casino to the next, spending time with hotel and casino workers — and even showing up to meet with employees during the late-night shift.
Republicans eager to see a drawn-out race between Clinton and Sanders were quick to point out that Clinton's firewall has “cracks in it.” They pointed to polls that showed Clinton with a 25-point lead in Nevada a month ago.
But for now, ClintonWorld seems satisfied with where it is.
“The fight goes on,” its candidate declared to a cheering crowd. “The future we want is within our grasp.”