Nevada’s Democratic Latino voters are divided over support for Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with the older population backing the former secretary of state and the younger, millennial-oriented demographic supporting Sanders.
“The leadership that is older is all Clinton, but the younger Latinos, they’re with Sanders,” Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, whose organization has been working in Nevada ahead of the state’s Democratic caucus on Saturday, told the Los Angeles Times. “My daughters are Sanders people. My wife is with Hillary.”
A new CNN/ORC Poll, conducted ahead of Saturday’s caucuses, shows an almost even split between likely Democratic caucusgoers in Nevada in their support for Clinton (48%) and Sanders. Sanders has made tremendous strides since he announced his candidacy last year particularly among millennials, while Clinton has the majority backing of women and voters over the age of 55.
The Times points out that younger Latinos who back Sanders say they are drawn to him because he “dreams big.” Sanders has consistently suggested his ideas “are not radical,” and his platform pushes wealth redistribution, including a “free college tuition” plan.
According to 2014 U.S. Census population statistics, nearly 30 percent of Nevada’s 2.8 million-person population is Hispanic or Latino. Blacks make up 9% of the population there. Combined, blacks and Latinos are expected to make up one-third of votes in the Nevada caucuses.
The minority vote is of particular importance for Sanders this weekend, considering the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses were overwhelmingly white in comparison. The CNN/ORC Poll showed Clinton led Sanders on issues of race relations.
Sanders has continued making inroads with African-American voters, speaking at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta on Tuesday, according to the Hill. There, Sanders focused on his plan to reform the nation’s criminal justice system by freeing more black men from prison. Earlier in the day Tuesday, Sanders reportedly campaigned in South Carolina with African-Americans connected to high-profile police brutality cases.
Sanders has received the support of best-selling author and slavery reparations advocate Ta-Nehisi Coates, along with Erica Garner, daughter of the late Eric Garner, an unarmed man who died in a confrontation with police in New York in 2014.