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CAUCUS MEMO: NV Dems Preparing to Execute Successful First in the West Caucus


To: Interested Parties

From: Alana Mounce, Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Director

Date: November 14, 2019

Subject: NV Dems Preparing to Execute Successful First in the West Caucus


With just 100 days to go until our First in the West Caucus, NV Dems are working in every county and every community to lay the foundation to execute a successful caucus and set our future Democratic nominee on the path to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. 

With the addition of four days of in-person early voting and multilingual caucus materials, NV Dems is on track to host the most accessible, expansive, and transparent caucus yet. Since summer, we have held more than 150 trainings, recruited more than 1,300 volunteers, contacted more than 23 thousand Nevada Democrats, and locked nearly 80 early vote locations. 

Nevada plays a crucial role in the nominating process due to our strong diversity, high union membership, battleground state status and as the first Western state in the nominating calendar. 


Drawing a strong contrast 

As the first Western state to make its voice heard in the presidential primary, Nevada plays a pivotal role in deciding our nominee. As a majority-minority state with a nearly one-third Latinx population, Nevada’s electorate is much more reflective of the Democratic Party and the country as a whole. Additionally, Nevada is the first battleground state where candidates will compete, making the Silver State campaigns’ first true test of viability. Below is a breakdown of our unique diversity:

  • Nevada’s Latinx community makes up nearly one-third of our population
  • We are home to more than 13 thousand Dreamers and more than 4 thousand TPS recipients, many whom make up our workforce and union population
  • In Clark County, 1 in 4 residents speak Spanish at home
  • We are home to one of the fastest growing AAPI communities in the country
  • 14% of Nevadans are union members–the largest organized labor presence of any early state
  • Female-majorities in our federal delegation, Nevada Supreme Court, and we’re the first and only female-majority state legislature in the country


Recent polling in Nevada shows a close race among the top candidates with health care and climate change as top issues among Democrats when deciding on their choice for nominee.  


Delegate breakdown:

Gaining more automatic delegates following the election of Governor Steve Sisolak and U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, Nevada’s delegate count far exceeds New Hampshire and is now comparable to winning in Iowa. 

Additionally, doing well in a diverse Western state is an indication of a candidate’s ability to win in the delegate-rich Western states voting just 10 days later on Super Tuesday like California and Texas.

  • Early states
    • Iowa- 49 total national delegates
    • New Hampshire- 33 total national delegates
    • Nevada – 48 total national delegates


  • Western states voting on Super Tuesday
    • California- 495 total national delegates
    • Texas- 262 total national delegates
    • Colorado- 80 total national delegates
    • Utah- 35 total national delegates


Make or break

Historically, Nevada has acted as a tiebreaker among Democratic presidential candidates. In 2008, Nevada was the deciding state after Barack Obama won Iowa and Hillary Clinton beat him in New Hampshire. And in 2016, Nevada became a tiebreaker after Clinton won Iowa and Bernie Sanders took New Hampshire. In both cases, Nevada broke for the eventual nominee.

Nevada also has a history of carrying the nominee into the general election, electing Barack Obama in 2008, again in 2012, and Hillary Clinton carried the state in 2016. Up and down the ballot, Nevada’s caucuses are the first step in securing the Silver State for the Democratic nominee, holding on to our majorities in the Assembly and Senate, and re-electing Dina Titus, Steven Horsford, and Susie Lee to the House of Representatives.