Biden Sails to Victory in Nevada’s Primary as He Heads Toward Nomination


President Biden coasted to victory on Tuesday in Nevada’s Democratic presidential primary election, carrying his party’s second recognized nominating contest against token opposition.

The Associated Press declared Mr. Biden the winner shortly after polls closed in Nevada, giving him his second easy triumph in four days, after he took 96 percent of the vote in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday.

“I want to thank the voters of Nevada for sending me and Kamala Harris to the White House four years ago, and for setting us one step further on that same path again tonight,” Mr. Biden said in a statement late on Tuesday evening.

As in South Carolina, Mr. Biden was the only Democratic candidate to mount a visible campaign in the state. He visited Las Vegas on Sunday, a stop that doubled as a get-out-the-vote effort for the primary and a kickoff to the general-election campaign in a state expected to be one of the most competitive battlegrounds in the country.

Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, one of Mr. Biden’s long-shot primary challengers, was not on the ballot because he entered the race after Nevada’s deadline for access. Mr. Phillips won 20 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, which Mr. Biden won as a write-in candidate, and then placed third behind the self-help author Marianne Williamson in South Carolina. Mr. Phillips has said he will focus his campaign on Michigan, which holds its Democratic primary on Feb. 27.

While the Nevada primary was not competitive, the state’s general elections are typically very tight. Mr. Biden, who won the state narrowly in 2020, will again need overwhelming support from the state’s heavy concentration of Hispanic voters, many of whom work in Las Vegas’s entertainment and hospitality industries. It was no coincidence that Mr. Biden on Monday paid a visit to unionized casino and hotel employees who had just completed contract negotiations.

“From union workers in Las Vegas to teachers in Reno, Nevadans across the Silver State have set the stage to defeat Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans once again this November,” Jaime Harrison, the Democratic National Committee chairman, said in a statement. He added that the state’s primary was “emblematic of Democrats’ commitment to uplifting voters of color, engaging the diverse coalitions that are the bedrock of the Democratic Party, and making it easier for everyone to make their voices heard.”

Mr. Biden’s runaway win in Nevada came in the state’s first presidential primary since it moved near the front of the nominating calendar in 2008. Nevada in recent cycles has held Democratic caucuses — in-person gatherings in which delegates could be awarded by a drawing of cards in the event of a tie.

After Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont won Nevada’s 2020 caucuses — and Mr. Biden finished a distant second — former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, a Democrat who was more responsible than anyone for Nevada’s early influence on presidential nominations, called for the state’s caucus system to be replaced by a statewide primary. The next year, Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada, a Democrat, signed laws establishing a presidential primary and a statewide vote-by-mail system.

Nevada’s new voting system has allowed it to remain near the front of the Democratic National Committee’s presidential nominating calendar. Iowa, which still holds presidential caucuses, was demoted when the party made South Carolina its new first-in-the-nation state.



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