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Ahead of Saturday's Caucus, Latinos in Nevada Affectionately Refer to Bernie Sanders as 'El Viejito'

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is greeted by a culinary worker protesting outside Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center on Thursday in Las Vegas. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

While Nevada’s labor leaders back Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, low-wage workers and indebted students are rallying behind Bernie Sanders, drawn to his message of radical economic change. Some Nevadans are even calling him “El Viejito,” or “the little old man.”

The Guardian reports:

Clinton and Sanders both have broadly similar policies on issues close to the Latino community’s hearts, including the need for a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants.

It is on economic policies — such as free college tuition, a universal healthcare system, and breaking up big Wall Street institutions — where their differences appear, igniting debates in places like the Macias household. …

In recent days, Clinton campaign officials have been playing down their candidate’s prospects; campaign manager Robby Mook, the architect of Clinton’s Nevada victory in 2008, and Brian Fallon, the campaign spokesman, both caused eyebrows to raise when they suggested the state was “80% white”.

The claim was quickly batted back by the state’s Democratic senator Harry Reid, who was instrumental in securing Nevada’s “first in the west” position as an early-nominating state, in large part to ensure a more diverse state has a say early on in the primaries.

But the remark left a strong impression in the state. “Both Mook and Fallon know that 80% figure is ludicrous, and the attempt to make Nevada seem like Iowa and New Hampshire is a spin too far,” wrote Jon Ralston, the most influential pundit in the state, pointing out that around half of the state’s population are minorities.

He added: “I don’t smell a rat. I smell something much more pungent from the Clinton campaign: fear.”

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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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