Nevadans who don’t vote early have to arrive at designated caucus precincts by 12pm to stand in their preferred candidate’s corner. Loyalty, in the raucous scene, can be tested. And tensions developed during debates and through paid and unpaid media may be on display. Nevadans working on the Las Vegas Strip who want to vote will be able to step away from their card tables, beverage stations, kitchens and housekeeping carts and join fellow staff in ballrooms reserved to caucus inside the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Wynn and other resorts.
A Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada poll released on Friday showed Sanders with 25% support, followed by Biden with 18%, Warren at 13%, the businessman Tom Steyer at 11%, and Buttigieg tied Klobuchar at 10%.
In addition to a burgeoning army of volunteers, the Sanders campaign employs 250 people in the silver state, more than double the staff of Pete Buttigieg, the second-largest campaign at 100.
Lourdes Esparza, 38, said she volunteers for Sanders because her mother and grandmother can’t afford adequate healthcare and were forced to ration medicine and pass on doctor’s appointments to avoid co-pays. Esparza canvasses door-to-door despite also working weekdays at a teachers union and weekends hostessing at a restaurant. “‘How much is it going to cost?’ shouldn’t be the first words that come out of my grandmother’s mouth when she gets sick,” Esparza said.
Austreberto Hernandez, a 26-year-old immigrant rights advocate, said he will support Sanders for his “deliberate” approach to progressivism. “I feel like Bernie Sanders normalized the idea of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants [in 2015] because he said it a million times on the campaign trail.”
“All that stuff – universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage – Bernie just pounded to death and now they’ve become household names.”