- The Road to Philadelphia « The Early Contests - Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina
The Early Contests - IA, NH, NV and SC
186 Delegates (156 Pledged)
Summary: The warm up, pre-primary period is over; now the voters start having their say. Iowa produced "an historically close" Democratic caucus, as Clinton finished just ahead of Sanders. O'Malley barely registered statewide after failing to meet the 15-percent threshold in most caucuses, and he ended his campaign. In New Hampshire, Sanders scored a strong 20-plus point win. Clinton rebounded in Nevada, winning the caucuses, and then trouncing Sanders in the South Carolina primary. Clinton could claim wins in three of the four early contests and headed into the March 1 Super Tuesday contests with momentum.
The campaign in Iowa was a three-person race between former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Gov. Martin O'Malley. Former Sen. Jim Webb and former Gov. Lincoln Chafee put in a smattering of visits, but by Caucus Day they had long since departed.
Clinton, Sanders and O'Malley ran active campaigns
including sizable field organizations and multiple visits.
O'Malley's campaign was decidedly smaller and did not have the
resources to run paid advertising.
Clinton, of course, had run here before, finishing third with 29.4% behind Barack Obama (37.6%) and John Edwards (29.7%) in the Jan. 3, 2008 caucuses. Turnout on the evening of February 1, at over 171,000, was high but far from the record 239,872 in 2008.
51 Delegates* and 4 Alternates:
29 District-level Delegates (CD1 - 8, CD2 - 8, CD 3 - 7, CD 4 - 6)
9 At-large Delegates
6 Pledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
7 Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
*Iowa originally had 52 delegates but one of the unpledged PLEOs resigned from a position that gave her delegate status, reducing the number of unpledged PLEOs from 8 to 7 and total delegates from 52 to 51.
Less than 50 votes (alpha): Elbot, French, Greenstein, Hewes, Hutton, Judd, Kelso, Lipscomb, Lock, Lovitt,
McGaughey Jr., Moroz, O'Donnell Jr., Sloan, Sonnino, Steinberg, Valentine, Weil
In 2008 Clinton rebounded after her third place finish in Iowa to finish first in the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary. Then she tallied 112,404 votes or 39.1% of the total to 104,815 (36.5%) for Obama and 48,699 (16.9%) for Edwards. This time she fell short, and Sanders won by a 20-plus point margin.
with a large campaign organization and by September she had gained
endorsements of many top officials including Gov. Hassan, Sen. Shaheen
and Rep. Kuster. Sanders' campaign geared up later here than in
Iowa, but built up a sizable field operation. He likely
benefited somewhat because he hails from neighboring Vermont.
Former Gov. Martin O'Malley tried to gain traction, but withdrew following the Feb. 1, 2016 Iowa caucuses. Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee made a total of 32 visits, all trips in and out on the same day, before ending his bid on Oct. 23, 2015.
32 Delegates and 2 Alternates:
16 District-level Delegates
5 At-large Delegates
3 Pledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
8 Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
Jan. 30, 2016 - Candidate delegate selection caucuses in each congressional district select delegate slates.
Feb. 12, 2016 - NHDP announces allocation of District-Level Delegates based on CD results in the Feb. 1 primary.
allocation: Sanders 15, Clinton 9.
Apr. 16, 2016
16 District-Level Delegates elect the PLEO Delegates,
At-Large Delegates and At-Large Alternates; the entire delegation then
elects the delegation chair, standing committee members and pages.
Two key constituencies in the Nevada campaign were Latinos and organized labor. Both campaigns produced messages targeted at the Latino community. "Brave" showed Clinton comforting a girl who was concerned that her parents might be deported, while a Sanders ad featured former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores. There was some debate after the caucuses about who had actually won the Latino vote.
|Hillary for America
For organized labor, the influential Culinary Workers Union Local 226 did not make an endorsement, but veteran Nevada political reporter and commentator Jon Ralston convincingly argues that a late intervention from ostensibly neutral U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and the culinary union help produce a big margin for Clinton in Clark County (+). Other unions were active for Clinton; AFSCME noted "a joint GOTC effort among unions that endorsed Hillary Clinton" which "resulted in more than 10,000 personal conversations about how to caucus for Hillary Clinton." Members of National Nurses United canvassed for Sanders (+).
Turnout of about 84,000 was markedly lower than in
2008, when 117,599 Nevada Democrats had participated. (Clinton
finished first in those caucuses, which were held on Jan. 19, leading
Obama in county convention delegates by 50.8% to 45.1%).
43 Delegates and 3 Alternates:
23 District-level Delegates
7 At-large Delegates
5 Pledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
8 Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
allocation: Clinton 20, Sanders 15.
Hillary Clinton finished 47.4% percentage points ahead of Bernie Sanders and carried every county. It was quite a turnaround from the Jan. 26, 2008 South Carolina primary, when Clinton finished almost 30 points behind Barack Obama, trailing him by 55.4% to 26.5% and 17.6% for John Edwards. The terrain was not favorable to Sanders, who was not well known here, while Clinton was seen as having an advantage because of her ties to the African American community.
Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns built active
field organizations. However, the Democratic candidates did not
make many visits to South Carolina, especially when compared to their
Iowa and New Hampshire travels. Jan. 16-18, 2016 were big days on
the the candidates' South Carolina calenders, encompassing a major SCDP
dinner, Congressman Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry, the Democrats'
fourth debate (Jan. 17 in Charleston), and an NAACP rally in Columbia
on Jan. 18. Martin O'Malley was still a candidate at the time of
The African American vote was key, and Clinton lined up support early on, in October 2015, including over two dozen African American mayor and a dozen members of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. The outreach continued throughout the campaign. For example, on Feb. 23 she held a "Breaking Down Barriers" town hall in Columbia with five mothers who had lost their children to gun violence and police incidents.
Advertising also targeted the African American
community. The Clinton campaign's first South Carolina TV ad,
from Feb. 2, was a testimonial from former U.S. Attorney General Eric
Holder. Other Clinton TV ads featured Rev. Anthony Thompson,
whose wife was killed in the Charleston shooting, Columbia
Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn. The campaign
ran TV ads addressing the broken criminal justice system and mothers
who had lost their sons and daughters to gun violence or police
incidents, and it had a significant radio advertising campaign as
well. The Sanders campaign ran an TV ad featuring Erica Garner
and a radio ad featuring Spike Lee.
|Hillary for America
|Feb. 2 - "25
||Feb. 9 - "Broken"
||Feb. 13 -
||Feb. 20 - "All
|Feb. 21 - "Stand"
||Feb. 24 - "The Letter"
||Feb. 25 - "Hands Down"
"Wake Up | Spike Lee"
|Feb. 17 -"It's Not Over"|
59 Delegates and 4
35 District-level Delegates
11 At-large Delegates
7 Pledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
6 Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Officials
Pledged delegate allocation: Clinton 39, Sanders 14.
SCDP Delegate Selection Summary | Delegate and Alternate Candidates [PDF]
Precinct Meetings: March 12, 2016.
County Conventions: Between March 19 and March 28, 2016.
State Convention: April 30, 2016 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia.