The Early Contests - IA, NH, NV and SC

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Early Contests - Reps: IA, NH, SC and NV

186 Delegates (156 Pledged)
:  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.

FEB. 1 - IOWA PRECINCT CAUCUSES (44 pledged delegates)

Results (State Delegate Equivalents, SDEs) - Iowa Democratic Party  |  Main IA Caucus Page

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.

Reactions  |  Visits  |  Organization  |  The Ad Campaign

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.

County Conventions:  March 12, 2016.  results
District Conventions:  April 30, 2016. (+)
State Convention:  June 18, 2016 at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. (+)



Official Results - New Hampshire Secretary of State  |  Ballot [PDF] Main NH Primary Page
MORE (26)
O'Malley 660 (0.26%), Supreme 265 (0.11%), Thistle 223, Schwass 142, Burke 107, De La Fuente 95, Wolfe 54, Adams 53
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.

Clinton started 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.

Reactions  |  Visits  |  Organization        

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.

Pledged delegate allocation:  Sanders 15, Clinton 9.

Apr. 16, 2016 - The 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.



FEB. 20 - NEVADA PRECINCT CAUCUSES (35 pledged delegates)

Nevada State Democratic Party - Results (County Convention Delegates)  |  Caucus FAQ  |   Main NV Caucus Page
about 84,000

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

Bernie 2016


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%).

Reactions  |  Organization: Clinton  |  Sanders  |  O'Malley     

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

County Conventions: April 2, 2016.   Example Clark County *
State Convention:  May 14-15, 2016 at Paris Hotel, Casino & Convention Center in Las Vegas.  "chaos"

Pledged delegate allocation:  Clinton 20, Sanders 15.




Official Results - 46 of 46 Counties - SC State Election Commission  |  Ballot [PDF]   Main SC Primary Page

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 these events. 

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 Years"
Feb. 9 - "Broken"
Feb. 13 - "Standing"
Feb. 20 - "All the Good"
"Reverend Hunt"
"For You"
"My Story"
Feb. 21 - "Stand"
Feb. 24 - "The Letter"
Feb. 25 - "Hands Down"

Bernie 2016

"Wake Up | Spike Lee"

Feb. 17 -"It's Not Over"

Reactions  |  Visits  |  Organization: Clinton  |  Sanders  |  O'Malley   


59 Delegates and 4 Alternates:
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 SummaryDelegate 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.