Hillary Clinton wins the Nevada caucus

Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 23:56:07-05

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won Saturday's Nevada caucuses as she led by a 52-48 margin with 92 percent of precincts reporting. 

Clinton's win in Nevada stops the momentum Sanders had gained following a dominating win in New Hampshire. 

Nevada was the third Democratic Party contest of the 2016 election cycle. Clinton previously had a narrow win in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. 

In the first election since the passing of Antonin Scalia, Clinton said in Saturday the importance of having a Democratic president nominating Scalia's replacement to the Supreme Court. Senate Republicans have said that they will wait to confirm the president's nomination until after November's general election. 

Clinton made a point to thank casino and service workers, who Clinton made an effort to campaign to in the final days before Saturday's caucus. Clinton won Clark County, where Las Vegas is, by a 55-45 margin.

Clinton's victory speech from Las Vegas was a far different tone from her address in New Hampshire on Feb. 8. Clinton was joined by her husband Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States.

"Some may have doubted but we never have doubted each other. This one is for you," Clinton said. "I want to congratulate Sen. Sanders for a hard fought race. I want to thank you. You turned out in every corner of the state."

While Clinton had her most impressive night of the election cycle, she still struggled with young voters, according to exit polls. During her remarks Saturday, she promised not only to make college education more affordable, but to work on student debt. That platform goes after one of Sanders' key policies of offering free public college education.

"I am heading on to Texas, Bill is on his way to Colorado, the future we want is within our grasp," Clinton said. 

Meanwhile, Sanders gave his first true concession speech of the cycle. As Sanders pointed out, he was never the favorite to win in Nevada.

"Five weeks ago, we were 25 points behind in the polls; we have made some real progress," Sanders said. "What this entire campaign has been about is the issue of momentum. Bringing more and more people into the political process. When we began in Iowa, we were 50 points behind. When we began in NH we were 30 points behind, and we were way behind here."

Sanders went on to discussing campaign finance reform and wage inequality.  

The next event is in South Carolina next Saturday for the final primary before Super Tuesday on March 1. 

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.