What the Hell Happened in Nevada?

David Buckley examines the Democrats’ Nevada State Convention and the effect it will have on the Presidential election.


On the 14th of May, the Nevada Democratic Party held their State Convention to decide how the remaining 12 of the 35 pledged delegates would be divided between Clinton and Sanders. I’m now going to try and outline the Nevada Democrat Primary process in a hundred words or less, so buckle in.

23 delegates were apportioned after the caucus on February 20th, this is the first tier of a three-tier process. Clinton won the February caucus by a slim margin, 52.6% to Sanders’ 47.3%, giving her a lead of 13-10. Next came the county conventions on the 2nd of April which Sanders won due to a very low turnout on the part of the Clinton camp. The third tier was the State convention, held last Saturday in Las Vegas.

The trouble started at 0930 PST when the Convention Chair (and State Party Chairperson), Roberta Lange, called on the delegates to adopt the temporary rules (LINK – kernlawoffices.com/NSDP/2016%20Convention%20Rules%20FINAL.pdf ) which had been passed by the Party’s Executive Board a few weeks prior to the convention. A legal challenge was lodged by Sanders supporters fearing that the rules provided the Convention Chair too much executive power. The case was thrown out on the grounds that the judge did not wish to interfere in party political matters and that the plaintiffs could argue their case at the State Convention. Boy, how wrong was he!

One of the sections the plaintiffs took issue with was Part A; Section 6:


Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.38.43Source: kernlawoffices.com/NSDP/2016%20Convention%20Rules%20FINAL.pdf

It doesn’t take a genius to see that when the Chair is responsible for determining whether or not the result of a voice vote is clear or not, and is responsible for declaring the result of said votes, situations like this are unavoidable.

This was at 9.30 in the morning, and demands for a recount continued until the venue was cleared by police at 10 pm.

Nevada was, whichever way you cut it, a travesty of the democratic process. It’s perhaps for that reason that Clinton’s supporters have tried their damnedest over the last week to lay the responsibility for the unrest at the feet of the Sanders campaign. Allegations of violence (even chair-throwing!) and attempts to storm the stage have been quietly retracted by the journalists who spread the tales, but little attention has been given in the mainstream media to the reasons behind the discontent.

The greatest irony in all this is that by using such legally dubious means to crush the Sanders campaign in Nevada, Clinton’s supporters may have irrevocably split the Democratic Party and by extension, lost the election.

It’s no secret that Sanders polls much higher against Trump than Clinton. What has not been reported by CNN or Fox is that in recent days, the #HillaryLostMe and #BernieOrBust hashtag usage has spiked since Nevada. Before Nevada, approximately 30% of Sanders supporters said they would never vote for Clinton under any circumstances. After Nevada we can be sure that number will rise, and Clinton will lose in November.


David Buckley, 

SNP Youth National Treasurer


Author: Young Scots for Independence

Young Scots For Independence