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.
Meanwhile, after a week punctuated by a dust-up between the Clinton and Obama campaigns over civil rights history, Obama led overwhelmingly among the 16 percent of his fellow African-Americans who came out to caucus. Nearly 80 percent of black caucus-goers supported Obama, who won the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses - and black voters are expected to make up about half of the electorate in South Carolina, the scene of the party's next primary.
"Right now, things are very uneasy in the black community," said Donna Brazile, a CNN analyst who managed former Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. She said her own relatives in South Carolina are split between Clinton and Obama.
"This is a key test, not just for the black vote, but also a key test for the Democrats in terms of heading South," she said.
South Carolina is also the native state of the third major Democrat in the race, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who finished in single digits in Nevada. Edwards finished second in Iowa and third in New Hampshire, but has vowed to stay in the race until the party's August convention in
Obama also led strongly among voters under 30, while Clinton took the over-45 category.
Like Republicans, Democratic caucus-goers called the economy their top issue in 2008 - and they preferred Clinton, whose husband presided over a lengthy economic boom in the 1990s, by a 49-38 margin over Obama.
The war in Iraq and health care were the No. 2 and No. 3 issues for Democrats, and Clinton led strongly among voters who chose those as their top issues, the entrance polls found.
Edwards has based his campaign on a strong populist pitch targeting corporate interests, whom he said have "rigged" Washington in their favor. But he drew the support of just 10 percent of caucus-goers who called the economy their top issue, and 11 percent among those who viewed health care their biggest concern.
Nevada Democrats said they had a record turnout for Saturday's caucuses, with more than 107,000 people taking part.
The caucuses were held after a dispute between two of the state's largest labor organizations, the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union and the 28,000 strong Nevada State Education Education, which represents teachers.
The state Democratic Party gave the nearly 200,000 workers on the Las Vegas strip a chance to take part in the caucuses by setting up nine "at-large" precincts in casinos. That was expected to give a boost to Obama once the culinary workers endorsed the Illinois senator.
The teachers union went to court last week to block the plan, arguing it gave hotel and casino employees an unfair advantage over other workers and granted outsized weight to the "at-large" precincts. A federal judge in Las Vegas rejected the suit Thursday, ruling that caucus procedures were up to the state party to decide.
CNN's projection of Clinton as the eventual winner is based on precincts reporting results, entrance polls and other statistical models - including the number of votes outstanding in areas where Clinton was expected to do well.
–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider contributed to this report
GO HILLARY!!! OUR 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes." (Oscar Wilde) Something to think about before focusing on Clinton's "experience."
Obama is premature in his run for president. His candidacy has divided the Dems over race and gender. It also shows his poor judgment in going ahead without thinking through the inherent division.
Women of every race and color all over the world have been dehumanized for thousands of years, and it is still going on. They are disenfranchized, ridiculed, beaten, raped, murdered, stoned, mutilated, burned, enslaved in today's thriving sex trade, and much more. Don't be a part of this list by maligning or demeaning any woman in mean or vicious ways.
Hillary represents hope and help for oppressed women and their children everywhere.
Rafael I agree with you in the most. I hope people stop making generalizations of Hispanics as only Mexicans. I feel right about Hillary and her Ideals.
Obamas campaign is stating that the Michigan and Florida votes dont matter to his campaign.
For a supposed "champion" of voters rights how can he be actively promoting the suppression of over a MILLION VOTERS!?!?!?!!??!!??
Hillary's life's work has been for women, children, minorities and all working class Americans. I am proud to be backing a candidate who is working hard for me. Say what you will about her, but no one has the heart, strength, or know-how to change our future better than she. Hillary will bash the Rebublican cronies in the General Election and that is why the Repubs fear her most. The Dems are a shoe in this November if we can stop being so devisive and get to a common ground.
I watched the caucus process in Nevada. Thank God , the rest of the nation is a private process. I can see how people could be intimidated. The voting process should be improved. The caucus process is not an improvement. It is an amusement. Lets just stick to the little booth with a curtain and absoluletly no outside pressure. There are a lot of people who are easily pressured to do things they might not have done without peer pressure. Thus the term "peer pressure."
The little booth is the best, then we can scream it was rigged, demand a recount and cloud the process, and in the end, nothing changes. One thing we have learned in the process is no more punch cards, with hanging chads. Can an election be fixed? Yes! When a vote is confusing, Ex: Butterfly ballot, when a no vote is really a yes vote, things like that. The age of computers, where Identity theft is a real threat,, if someone wants to steal your vote they sure can. It is scary, but we cannot let the threats of hackers, terrorist etc. take away our rights to freedom. The right to vote is the fundamental right of our country. WE must exercise that right. If you disagree with me or not. PLEASE VOTE People who make stupid comments, like "I'll move if so and so wins," who will cut off their noses to spite their faces, those kinds of comments make me very sad
HILLARY IS ON HER WAY HOME WHERE SHE BELONGS, THE WHITE HOUSE . THE LATINOS HAVE SPOKEN LOUD AND CLEAR,ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID.NOT US. HILLARY GO, WE SHALL FOLLOW AND SUPPORT YOU ALL THE WAY BACK .. HILLARY GO 08
This Country's leaders use psychology to manipulate the minds of all races.
Each race is made to think that one race thinks themselves better, another race is more favored etc. People except these beliefs and carry them out. Although deep inside each and everyone of us there is a deep desire to love and help one another. Some people acually go literally crazy even commit suicide because their minds can not rationalize this sort of behavior they become depressed anxiety set in ect.
The leaders also use money and fear to enforce the lies prepetrated. The ALLOWED advancement of one race over another. Better treatment of one or more race over others.
The allowed devastation and mistreatment of one or more race over another. Although some other races suffered in the Katrina mess most were blacks. Whites, expecially tend to think that that won't be done to them. This is because of the brain washing, the lies being prepetrated, the total control process must be done gradually so that people won't notice.
The system as well as the laws of this country have control over you.
Most people in this County have not had a need to access the use of these systems or the laws that why they don't know that they don't exist (for them).
Have you ever noticed that you are not ALLOWED to sue and if you are it rare that you get much money. But, the government can and does and gets millions. Why is that? Remember most of the time they are sueing on behalf of it's citizens but the citizens don't get any money. Why do you think Lawyers are chasing car accidents. They know that the SYSTEM is set up against people.
Why is there so much emphasis on blacks, whites and hispanics? What about the Irish, and the Italians etc? Are they considered to be more manipulative races?
I say all this to hopefully wake you people up. PAY ATTENTION
lATINOS, LADIES Hillary don't give a good to hoot about you.READ/STUDY
Obama and his supporters are sore losers. Obama is just a child who is claiming delegates that he might get. Obama you keep hoping however just remember voters voice is lauder than your dream and hope. That is reality.
Just grow up!!!
Many have questioned Senator Obama's background.
It was in Oxford as a student Bill Clinton came to hear about the One World Government for the first time, and what was required to be a member of this New World Order. In an interview in 1994 Clinton said that he'd known about the "Shadow-government" already in his youth, and had been very enthusiastic to get an entrance into the "Inner Circle" and from there have the opportunity to participate in decisions regarding the future of the world.
Why isn't anyone saying anything about Bill Clinton's drug use as well as drug smuggling etc.
There sure are alot of stupid comments referencing votes from "illegals, the threat of Latinos being deported back to Mexico if they support Clinton and a Republican wins, and Latinos voting for Hillary because they are ignorant and poor.
First of all, if they are voting....that means they are legal voters!!! You know, being Latino doesn't automatically mean illegal status–there are many who's US citizenship goes back MANY generations, just like for all of you who are descended from immigrants!
Secondly, saying that Latinos voted for her because they are ignorant and poor....not even the Republican party is THAT overt in it's racism.