Democratic Candidates Spar Ahead of Nevada Caucus

February 16, 2020 Updated: February 16, 2020
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As the Nevada Democratic caucuses approach, and with the field of 2020 presidential contenders narrowing further, a few of the top candidates sought to make their voices heard Feb. 16 on the national television circuit.

Days ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dominated the New Hampshire primary election, snagging nine delegates each, with Sanders gaining the most votes. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was the only other candidate to win delegates, with six, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden trailed in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Buttigieg said on Feb. 16 that his campaign would be able to improve its standing with minority voting blocks in New Hampshire, and he made an apparent dig at billionaire Tom Steyer, who has spent more than $100 million so far.

“We’ve seen how fluid it is. Of course, I don’t have billions of dollars of my own money to pour into the airwaves,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Buttigieg said his campaign has over 100 organizers on the ground in New Hampshire. He was also asked about the high number of candidates competing for the moderate lane, which could split the moderate vote, leaving the nomination open to Sanders. 

“I think that’s what voters right now are in the process of settling,” he said. “We also can’t do it by telling people that their only options are between a revolution and the status quo.”

Neither Sanders nor Warren appeared to be booked on any talk shows for Feb. 16. Sanders was scheduled to speak at a rally in Denver.

Meanwhile, Biden, following poor results in New Hampshire and Iowa, said on Feb. 16 that it’s too early to count him out, noting that he has wider support from the African American community, which is a significant proportion of South Carolina’s Democratic electorate. South Carolina will hold its primary on Feb. 29.

“I’m the only one who has the record and has the background and has the support. They know me,” Biden told NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “They know who I am,” referring to African Americans.

An average of nationwide polling data aggregated by Real Clear Politics placed Sanders at the top with 23.6 percent of the vote. Behind him was Biden with 19.2 percent, followed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 14.2 percent, Warren with 12.4 percent, and Buttigieg at 10.6 percent. The rest of the field polled in the single digits.  

Klobuchar used some of her time on talk shows to criticize Bloomberg’s heavy spending in the election. Bloomberg has shot up in some of the nationwide polls in recent weeks.

“I don’t think you should be able to hide behind airwaves and huge ad buys,” Klobuchar said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I know I’m not going to be able to beat him on the airwaves, but I can beat him on the debate stage.”

When asked to comment on reports alleging that Bloomberg objectified women, Klobuchar said Bloomberg should sit down for a television interview.

“He has not come on any Sunday show since he announced,” she said.

Klobuchar also said her campaign has raised more than $12 million since the Feb. 8 debates in New Hampshire.

Bloomberg’s campaign on Feb. 15 responded to a report that he’s considering former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

The Drudge Report, citing a source close to the candidate’s campaign, reported that Bloomberg was considering Clinton after a source said that polling data revealed that a “Bloomberg-Clinton combination would be a formidable force.”

Bloomberg’s campaign didn’t confirm or deny the report. In an emailed statement, the campaign’s communication director Jason Schechter said, “We are focused on the primary and the debate, not VP speculation.”

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, recently shared a Twitter post from one of his political action committees, which stated, “Not a single Democrat will openly denounce socialism or a socialist candidate. This is the true Democratic Party.”

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