Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada Democratic Caucus

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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LAS VEGAS — Selfies, identity politics, and a “real” campaign lead to the “real” results Hillary Clinton was hoping for as she put a damper on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ momentum by winning Saturday’s Nevada caucus.

The Associated Press called the race at 5:15 p.m. With almost 90 percent of the vote reporting, Clinton leads Sanders 53 percent to 47 percent. Clinton received 19 delegates with Sanders picking up 15.

Sanders’ campaign only showed up in Nevada in November, and Clinton had been building a formidable organization here for some time, opening a campaign office in July after having staff here for months prior.

Attacks from Hillary concentrated on the idealist nature of Sanders’ campaign. At a “women and family roundtable,” Clinton said: “My hope is that we can have a campaign about real issues that will make a real difference in real people’s lives. And not a theoretical discussion, but a real down to earth conversation about what we are going to do.”

“For some people that might be kind of boring, right?” she said. “You know, promise the moon, go after everybody, but to me that’s what makes a difference in people’s lives and that’s how I judge my public service: are people better off than when I started?”

Clinton pulled out all the stops in Nevada, bringing out celebrities Eva Longoria and America Ferrera to her Friday night “get out the caucus” event. Within the first five minutes of her speech, Longoria continued the theme of identity politics, identifying herself as a woman, millennial and Hispanic daughter of a single mother. While Clinton herself usually attacks Sanders without naming him, her surrogates are the pitbulls.

Ferrara on Friday night said, “Bernie talks about a revolution, but a lot of our families fled countries where dismantled systems made room for tyranny and violence. What we don’t need in this country is a revolution. We need an evolution.”

Hillary also received help from black churches. She was endorsed by Pastor Robert E. Fowler of Las Vegas’ Victory Missionary Baptist Church. The church has not responded to The Daily Caller’s inquiry about whether they are busing members to caucus sites.

While the all-important Culinary Workers Union failed to endorse Hillary, she made a concerted effort to get their support. In the lead-up the Saturday’s caucus, she made multiple visits to casino employee dining rooms, meeting with the workers, telling them, “I need your help, caucus Saturday 11 a.m.” These union workers get two hours of paid time to vote and most of the casinos have caucus locations on site.

Clinton has been criticized for the heavy influence of “super-delegates” in the nomination process so far. In New Hampshire, she received more delegates than Sanders despite him winning 60.4 percent of the vote. (RELATED: After Crushing Defeat, DNC Quirk Still Gives Hillary More New Hampshire Delegates Than Sanders)

This win should help her dispel those attacks, and solidify the lead polls show her having going into South Carolina and the “Super Tuesday” March 1 states.

A statement from Sanders released Saturday afternoon said, “I just spoke to Secretary Clinton and congratulated her on her victory here in Nevada. I am very proud of the campaign we ran.”

He added, “I am also proud of the fact that we have brought many working people and young people into the political process and believe that we have the wind at our back as we head toward Super Tuesday.”