Hillary Clinton scored a victory in Nevada’s Democratic caucuses Saturday — holding off an unexpectedly strong challenge from rival Bernie Sanders.
The win gives Clinton a much-needed boost against the surging socialist as the race moves to South Carolina next weekend.
The former secretary of state sought to further separate herself from Sanders in her victory speech.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton celebrates her win in the Nevada caucuses with a victory speech at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
“The truth is we aren’t a single issue country,” Clinton said, knocking her opponent’s laser-like focus on economic issues.
Clinton emphasized minority issues, mentioning criminal justice reform and calling her own candidacy “a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back.”
Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters at a rally in Henderson, Nev., after losing the Nevada caucuses to Hillary Clinton.
“If we listen to the voices of Flint and Ferguson, if we open our hearts to the families of coal country and Indian country, if we listen to the hopes and heartaches of hardworking people across America, it’s clear that there is so much more to be done,” she said.
With 96% of precincts reporting, Clinton was leading with 52.7% of the vote to Sanders’ 47.2%.
Sanders congratulated Clinton on her victory, but then declared that “the wind is at our backs. We have the momentum.”
Hillary Clinton, shown here with husband Bill Clinton, won 52.2% of the vote, according to early returns Sunday.
With a vast network of small donors, Sanders has the financial resources to stay in the race for months. The Vermont senator won a landslide victory in New Hampshire after losing in Iowa by a razor-thin margin.
Clinton’s strength among women, older voters and African-Americans proved decisive in Nevada. A large majority of blacks supported Clinton, an outcome that bodes well for her in upcoming Southern state primaries. Hispanics were closely divided between the two candidates.
The Clinton victory in Nevada underscored the challenge for Sanders as the campaign shifts to South Carolina on Feb. 27 and then the Super Tuesday states.