(CNN) – You know you're in Vegas when victory at a caucus precinct comes in the form of a card draw.
On Saturday, Sen. Hillary Clinton won the caucus at Mojave High School in North Las Vegas when one of her supporters pulled out the queen of hearts - besting the 10 of spades for Obama.
Tom Komenda, a Clinton supporter, told CNN there was an even number of supporters for the two candidates - 48 each. But the caucus had five delegates, so they couldn't be split evenly.
How to break the tie? A good old fashioned card draw.
Komenda - who sent CNN the story via I-Report - said a sealed deck was unwrapped. But as the shuffling started, he was concerned that the shuffler might have been shuffling in a way that exposed the faces of the cards to some of the nervous onlookers.
"I said, 'Wait wait wait - if we have to do this idiotic thing with cards, we're going to shuffle them the way they're supposed to be shuffled,'" he told CNN, laughing. "Then they said, 'If you want to shuffle, come down here and shuffle. So I went down and shuffled!"
Komenda says an Obama supporter drew first, and up came the ten of spades. Next, a Clinton supporter drew, and a queen of hearts decided the tie-breaker in favor of Clinton. So the final delegate count was two delegates for Obama, and three for Clinton.
It all ended, he said, in "cheers from one side of the room, groans and boos from the other."
Those cheering ended up rewarding Komenda - he was chosen to be one of the delegates for Clinton.
–CNN's Josh Levs
NEW YORK (CNN) - Rep. Duncan Hunter has abandoned his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the California congressman said in a statement released Saturday evening.
“Today we end this campaign,” said Hunter, according to an advance copy of his remarks he was scheduled to deliver later in the evening.
The California Republican, an outspoken proponent of cracking down on illegal immigration, did poorly in the Nevada GOP caucuses held earlier in the day.
“The Nevada caucuses reflecting only 2 percent of the vote for me,” he said. “I ran the campaign exactly the way I wanted to, and at this point not being able to gain traction in conservative states of Nevada and South Carolina, it's time to allow our volunteers and supporters to focus on the campaigns that remain viable.”
– CNN Political Producer Alan Isenberg
Hillary Clinton did poorly among African-American voters in Nevada, according to entrance polls. (Photo Credit: AP)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - African Americans overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama in the Nevada caucuses, just as they did in the Michigan Democratic primary last week - a trend that could hurt Hillary Clinton in next Saturday’s South Carolina primary, where black voters are expected to make up half the electorate.
Black voters made up 16 percent of Democratic Nevada caucus-goers - and roughly 80 percent of them voted for Obama, according to entrance polls. Clinton won support from 16 percent of black voters.
In Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday - a contest that was rendered meaningless after party sanctions - roughly 70 percent of African-American voters did not cast their votes for Clinton, choosing the “uncommitted” option instead. According to CNN exit polls, those voters overwhelmingly favored Barack Obama, whose name did not appear on the ballot.
Had Obama’s name been on the Michigan ballot, CNN exit polls showed that he would have won an overwhelming 73 percent of the African-American vote, in contrast to 22 percent who say they would have voted for Clinton under those circumstances.
If South Carolina’s large African-American community votes as Michigan's and now Nevada's, Hillary may not be feeling much ‘southern hospitality’ in that state.
African-Americans have long been firm supporters of both former President Bill Clinton - dubbed the first 'black president' by author Toni Morrison - and Hillary Clinton. But a high profile spat earlier this month between the New York senator and Obama over the issue of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy may have done some damage to Clinton's favorability numbers among some in the African-American community.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) - Hours after Clinton campaign officials told reporters they were worried about instances of voter intimidation in Nevada, the Obama campaign made similar allegations.
In a statement, campaign manager David Plouffe said there had been more than 200 separate reports of “incidents of trouble” at caucus locations, including early closings, a shortage of registration forms, and random and non-uniform I.D. checks.
“This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations,” said Plouffe. “These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself.”
He added that the campaign had a hotline number for concerned voters to call, and planned to investigate all of the incidents reported Saturday.
Related video: Bill Clinton talks tactics
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Nevada entrance polls indicate deep divisions among race, gender, and age in the Democratic presidential race.
Among black voters, Barack Obama bested Hillary Clinton 79 percent to 16 percent. (Black voters constituted 16 percent of Nevada caucus goers.)
Among women voters, Clinton bested Obama 58 percent to 35 percent - a cornerstone of Clinton's win in the state, since women made up roughly 60 percent of Nevada caucus goers.
Finally, the younger the caucus-goer, the more likely he or she supported Obama. The Illinois senator overwhelmingly beat Clinton among 18-29 year-olds (57 percent to 30 percent) and edged out Clinton among 30-44 year olds (42 percent to 30 percent).
But the New York senator edged out Obama among 45-49 year olds (46 percent to 39 percent) and easily beat him among those caucus-goers 60 and older (61 percent to 28 percent.) Those two statistics were particularly good news for Clinton, since roughly two-thirds of Saturday’s caucus-goers were over 45.
(CNN) – In an attempt to short-circuit false rumors about Barack Obama that have circulated on the Internet, his presidential campaign has released a “letter to the Jewish community" from seven Jewish senators – none of whom have endorsed a presidential candidate – publicly condemning the e-mails.
Sens. Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Russ Feingold, Frank Lautenberg, Bernie Sanders and Ron Wyden signed the letter, which was sent to reporters Saturday.
"Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful e-mails that use falsehood and innuendo about Sen. Barack Obama's religion and attack him personally. As Jewish United States senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks,” they say in the letter.
“We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks arc apparently being sent specifically to the Jewish community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics.”
The campaign sent out a similar letter, signed by community letters representing most of the major Jewish organizations in the United States, earlier this week.
Full letter (pdf)
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – Another contest, another day of record turnout for Democrats.
The Nevada Democratic Party reports that with 84 percent of the precincts reporting, they are seeing unprecedented turnout, with more than 107,000 caucus attendees.
This follows record turnouts for Democrats in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
The numbers are unsurprising, given the fact that most national polls have indicated for quite some time that Democrats are incredibly energized about the 2008 presidential election.
Fewer than 10,000 people attended the 2004 Nevada caucuses, but that contest was much later in the primary season, with very little at stake.
The national Democratic Party decided to move up Nevada's date to the middle of January to make the state, which has a large union and Latino Democratic electorate, more of a primary season player.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was instrumental in moving his state's contest up earlier in the primary process.
He called today's turnout a "tremendous success."
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – If you weren’t supporting Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama at the caucus held Saturday at Caesar’s Palace, then you were caught in some pretty aggressive crossfire.
Early reports showed that the at-large caucuses on Las Vegas’ famed Strip were fairly evenly divided between Obama and Clinton, and at Caesar’s the two sides didn’t mind voicing their support. The senators’ corners volleyed chants back and forth and often crossed the invisible line that separated them in the middle of the ballroom to bait the other side.
On several occasions the back-and-forth grew heated, with rumors of false information and unfair lobbying of undecideds swirling among caucus-goers.
Clinton supporters from the Steel Workers’ Union held signs saying “I Support my Union, I Support Hillary.” Since the at-large caucuses we targeting workers from Culinary Union which endorsed Obama, the Obama supporters felt Clinton supporters were misleading undecided Culinary workers.
In the end, of the 33 delegates allotted to Caesar’s, 17 went to Obama and 16 to Clinton. The six caucus-goers (of 167) who weren’t supporting Obama or Clinton quietly slipped their second choices to the caucus chair so the warring factions wouldn’t swarm them. Four went for Obama, one for Hillary, and the last decided not to commit.
– CNN Nevada Producer Alexander Marquardt
LAS VEGAS (CNN) - With solid backing from Latino voters and women overall, Sen. Hillary Clinton has claimed her second win of the Democratic presidential race in Saturday's Nevada caucuses, CNN projects.
Entrance polls indicated Democrats were split along ethnic, racial and generational lines. But women made up nearly 60 percent of those taking part in Saturday's contest, and the New York senator and former first lady led her top rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, by a margin of 52 percent to 35 percent among those voters.
Clinton, who won last week's New Hampshire primary, was winning the Latino vote by a nearly 3-1 margin in Nevada, according to entrance polls. Latinos make up about a quarter of the state's population and 14 percent of caucus participants, those polls found.
Saturday's contest marked the first time a Western state has played an early role in the presidential race, and Democrats are counting on Latino voters to help the party make inroads into the region in 2008.
Clinton won big in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas - home to about 1.7 million of the state's population of 2.6 million. Clinton led Obama by about 11 percentage points in the county with 90 percent of its precincts reporting.
(CNN) - As Nevada Democrats gathered for the state’s caucuses Saturday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign told reporters their supporters were worried about voter intimidation – just hours after former President Bill Clinton said he had personally witnessed voter harassment.
CNN has since projected that Hillary Clinton has won Saturday’s Democratic vote in Nevada.
“We have heard from many people on the ground over the past few days who are concerned about voter intimidation,” spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a conference call with reporters.
Spokeswoman Karen Hicks said many casino workers had thought they could only participate in caucuses at the controversial at-large caucus sites if they supported Barack Obama, and that the Clinton campaign had heard reports of confusion and voter intimidation.
Friday night, Bill Clinton told a Nevada crowd that he and his daughter Chelsea had visited a hotel, and seen a union representative trying to strong-arm Clinton supporters.
“Today when my daughter and I were wandering through the hotel, and all these culinary workers were mobbing us telling us they didn’t care what the union told them to do, they were gonna caucus for Hillary,” he said.
“There was a representative of the organization following along behind us going up to everybody who said that, saying 'if you’re not gonna vote for our guy were gonna give you a schedule tomorrow so you can’t be there.' So, is this the new politics? I haven’t seen anything like that in America in 35 years. So I will say it again – they think they're better than you.”