Democrats elbow for breakout moment in Nevada and beyond

Democrats elbow for breakout moment in Nevada and beyond
Democrats elbow for breakout moment in Nevada and beyond

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Democrats elbow for breakout moment in Nevada and beyond in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LAS VEGAS — Democratic White House hopefuls make their final pitches to Nevada voters Friday on the eve of the latest contest in the nomination race, as the state seeks to avoid the chaos that marred voting in Iowa.

The battle to see who challenges Republican President Donald in November has entered an urgent phase, with eight candidates including late entrant Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, scrambling for advantage.

Senator Bernie Sanders is the shock frontrunner, with rivals including a struggling Joe Biden and a re-invigorated Elizabeth Warren desperate to blunt the leftist firebrand's momentum.

Compounding the gravity, chilling warnings have emanated from Washington's intelligence community that Russia is interfering in the campaign to try to get Trump re-elected, much as it did in 2016.

Trump, who was impeached in December over accusations that he tried to coerce ally Ukraine into helping him win the 2020 election, reportedly erupted in anger about a congressional briefing on the threat and sacked Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Eager to steal some of the Nevada spotlight, Trump was headed to a campaign rally Friday in Las Vegas, where several Democratic candidates were converging for their own events.

For some, Nevada — or South Carolina, which votes on Feb. 29 — is a make-or-break moment before the race takes on a national dynamic on March 3's "Super Tuesday," when 14 states vote.

Several contenders are facing fundraising hurdles and Nevada and South Carolina are likely to be the end of the road for some.

Bloomberg has no such troubles. He has already spent a staggering $364 million, a campaign record, from his personal fortune on campaign advertising, according to Advertising Analytics.

Bloomberg chose to unconventionally skip the first four nominating contests and make a splash in Super Tuesday states where he has blanketed the airwaves with unprecedented ad spending.

Rivals have revolted against the strongarm tactics.

"We are a democracy. One person, one vote — not a guy worth $60 billion buying an election," fumed Sanders in an interview with CBS.

Sanders added that he was surprised at Bloomberg's ineffective debate performance Wednesday, when the media tycoon suffered a full-on assault from rivals.

Should Bloomberg — currently third in national polling behind Sanders and Biden — become the nominee, Sanders warned, "Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Warren, whose campaign sagged after mediocre showings Iowa and New Hampshire, eviscerated Bloomberg during the debate, leading to a much-needed injection of campaign donations — more than $5 million since the debate, she said.

"I'm going to fight like hell to build a country that works for everyone," Warren said Friday.

Another candidate under pressure to turn his sinking campaign around is Biden, the former vice president who performed dreadfully in the opening contests.

Biden must bounce back in Nevada and South Carolina, two states with diverse demographics that could boost the former frontrunner.

The Silver State's voting format is a caucus. Unlike a primary, where voters pick a candidate by secret ballot, caucus goers attend precinct gatherings where they vote publicly by standing with fellow supporters of their chosen candidate.

That process in Iowa devolved into chaos when online applications malfunctioned. Nevada is under immense pressure to avoid a similar debacle.

"What we've been doing here at the party is making sure that, number one, what happened in Iowa will not happen in Nevada," the state's Democratic Party chairman William McCurdy told CNN.

The state's precinct captains and 1,400 volunteers have been trained on what McCurdy calls a Nevada calculator, an "off-the-shelf, low-tech option" they will use to record and transmit the votes to party officials. — AFP

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