Bernie Sanders surged to a decisive victory in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday (February 22) - riding a wave of broad support for his unapologetic message of social and economic justice that left his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination in his wake.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "The American people are sick and tired of a government which is based on greed, corruption and lies." An entrance poll by Edison Research suggested that Sanders led in Nevada across all age groups except the over-65s, and had backing from 54% of Latino voters, 24% of white college-educated women and 34% of those who have a union member in their family.
Despite leaders of the powerful Culinary Workers Union expressing reservations over Sanders' universal healthcare plan, at the caucus inside the famed Bellagio, workers like David Montenegro were betting on Bernie.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID MONTENEGRO, A BARTENDER WHO CAUCUSED FOR BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "Not only do I love Bernie Sanders and support the type of human being that he is, but the numbers show that he is the only candidate that has a chance against Trump and I know he will actually defeat Donald Trump." The final result of the Bellagio caucus was 76 votes for Sanders and 45 for Biden, with no other candidates ending with a vote.
A strong second place was the story of the night for Biden - and after poor showing sin Iowa and New Hampshire, it was a position he seemed to welcome.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER US VICE PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "I think we're going to look back on this and say this was the beginning of the fundamental change." For Biden and other moderates like former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sanders is too liberal to beat Donald Trump.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans." It was a disappointing night for Senator Elizabeth Warren who had been hoping for a post-debate boost after her fierce performance on Wednesday February 19).
She looked to have come in fourth while Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer trailed.
One person who did seem to be enjoying the caucus was Trump.
He tweeted that it looks like - quote - "Crazy Bernie is doing well" and that "Biden & the rest look weak".