For the first time this year, large groups of voters of color will weigh in on the Democratic primary, when Nevada voters head to their caucus sites this Saturday, February 22.
The caucuses, the third contest of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, will begin at noon local time/3 pm ET. But, like the Iowa caucuses earlier this month, the Nevada results could take some time to be reported.
Some votes have already been cast: For the first time, Nevadans had the opportunity to vote early in 2020. And that early-voting turnout has been substantial, potentially topping 80 percent of caucus-day turnout in 2016 — an exciting milestone, but also one that could complicate reporting.
Polls suggest that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, fresh off a victory in New Hampshire, is firmly in the driver’s seat as the Nevada caucuses get underway; he leads the field by double digits according to the FiveThirtyEight Nevada polling average, with former Vice President Joe Biden in second and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in third.
A Politico report on Monday indicated that other campaigns are already preparing themselves for a Sanders victory: Advisers to at least three Sanders opponents telegraphed that a second- or third-place finish was the best that their campaigns could expect in Nevada.
Sometimes-unreliable polling and historically low caucus turnout, however, mean that the state of the race in Nevada is potentially still fluid.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — fourth and sixth in the Nevada average — are also in the hunt for a strong finish in Nevada ahead of the South Carolina primary next Saturday and Super Tuesday in early March, but they both face an uphill battle to win over voters of color in the majority-minority state whose population is almost one-third Latino.
Follow along below for Vox’s coverage of the 2020 Nevada caucuses, including results, breaking news updates, analysis, and more.