Sanders's victory in Nevada was big and broad

Sanders's victory in Nevada was big and broad
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Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Five things to watch in two Ohio special election primaries MORE’s decisive victory in Nevada makes him the clear frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race.

The Vermont senator received almost half the vote in a field with eleven candidates on the ballot. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE came in a distant second. The only other candidates in double figures were former Sound Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate Sunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Chasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAmerica's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet California Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans MORE (D-Mass.).

The Sanders win was big and broad.

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The entrance poll indicated that he won a clear majority of caucus participants who were Hispanic, under 30 years old and very liberal. He also won a plurality of the white vote and finished second among African American voters. Sanders even competed closely with Biden for the support of voters over 45 and caucus participants who described themselves as moderate or conservative. 

Sanders’s support in the Silver State with Hispanics augurs well for his performance in California and Texas, both Super Tuesday states with large numbers of Latino primary voters.

Next week, 14 states, Americans Abroad and American Samoa will select delegates to the Democratic National Convention. When the returns from Super Tuesday come in, Democrats will have selected almost 40 percent of the delegates who will pick their nominee in Milwaukee.

Sanders is sitting pretty heading into the big day with a significant lead in California, which will send more delegates to the convention than any other state. Only Sanders and two other Democratic candidates, businessman Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBipartisan infrastructure win shows Democrats must continue working across the aisle WHO leader issues warning on 'harmful' e-cigarettes Six months in, two challenges could define Biden's presidency MORE and investor Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline Six things to watch as California heads for recall election MORE, have the money to advertise broadly for the Super Tuesday contests. 

Unless there is a sharp reversal of his fortunes, Sanders will emerge from Super Tuesday with a clear delegate lead. The only question is whether he comes out of the big day with a majority of the delegates selected to that point.

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To ensure his nomination, Sanders will need to arrive in Milwaukee with a clear majority of delegates in order to win a first ballot victory. Bloomberg is already plotting to round up support from Democratic insiders and super delegates for a second ballot coup that could prove devastating for the party’s chances for success in the fall campaign against Trump.

But before the Super Tuesday extravaganza next week, all eyes will be on South Carolina this week.

South Carolina is a make or break state for Biden. Polls indicate that his big lead there has shrunk significantly. For months now, Biden strategists have told the media that the Palmetto State would be their firewall if the former vice president lost Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Saturday, Biden will have to put up or shut up.

Tuesday in Charleston, South Carolina, the Democratic candidates will debate for the tenth time. Last week’s bar room brawl in Las Vegas was fun to watch, but the Democratic candidates were so intent on beating Bloomberg up that they forgot the real enemy is Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE.

Support for the president’s re-election grows as the Democratic fight becomes more devisive.

The big question in this week’s debate is whether the other Democrats are so intent on bringing Sanders down to earth that they let Trump off the hook like they did in Vegas.

Trump’s biggest failure is his success in dividing America. The many Americans who oppose Trump want the next president to be a uniter not a divider. The fractious Democratic demolition derby has not demonstrated the party’s ability to end divisiveness and bring harmony back to American politics.

To this point, the Democratic campaign has been an effort to stop Joe Biden. Sanders’s early success has turned it into an attempt to stop Bernie. What we need to win is a crusade to stop Donald Trump.

If Democrats are to fly high enough to win the White House, protect the House and takeover the Senate, they will need both wings of the party to work together. That includes electing progressives to Congress and protecting the seats of moderate Democratic incumbents.

Establishment Democrats need to acknowledge the power of a new generation of voters who are taking over the party from baby boomers. The new generation Democrats need to recognize that they need the establishment to elect Sanders president and to enact the progressive agenda starting in 2021.

Democratic success in 2020 means both sides need to keep their eyes on the prize, which is to beat Donald Trump, not to simply select a nominee. This will require the kind of give and take that Democrats have not been capable of early in the process of selecting a nominee.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is also the host of a radio podcast “Deadline D.C. With Brad Bannon” that airs on the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter @BradBannon.