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Democratic candidates make final bid for Nevada votes

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 21, 2020 - Duration: 03:28s

Democratic candidates make final bid for Nevada votes

Democratic candidates and volunteers are canvasing Nevada in cars, on foot, and even on horseback a day before the state holds a nominating contest in the 2020 race for the White House.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

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Democratic candidates make final bid for Nevada votes

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CYNTHIA RIFI, SANDERS SUPPORTER CANVASSING ON HORSEBACK, SAYING: "When I first was thinking about canvassing, my biggest dilemma was I have to have time to ride my horses, get them exercise, get them out on [the] trail, how am I going to do both?

And then I kind of looked around where I live and I thought, 'Ah hah, I'll canvas on horseback." Equestrian Cynthia Rifi is on an unconventional campaign trail, hitting mountain paths and residential cul-de-sacs around Reno, Nevada ahead of the state's Democratic caucuses on Saturday.

And if politics is a horserace, Rifi and Sebastian are betting on the 78-year-old Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, and bringing his message to voters.

If these two aren't persuasive, voters have plenty of opportunity to hear a candidate's message from the horse's mouth.

Democrats are criss-crossing this state, hoping that a victory here will prove they can appeal to a more diverse population of voters than in Iowa or New Hampshire.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "Voters in Nevada are gearing up to vote in the caucus." Former Vice President on Joe Biden in Las Vegas touted his record on trying to tackle gun control.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "Requiring background checks for every single gun sale.

It's just common sense.

It's supported by 90 percent of the American people." [FLASH] (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ELIZABETH WARREN, SAYING: "I have really had it with billionaires, regardless of party, who think that the rules don't apply to them.

I've had it with billionaires who think their money buys them something special." Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, coming off a fiery debate performance, continued to hammer billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for his record on policing.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ELIZABETH WARREN, SAYING: "I'm sorry, they knew exactly what communities they were targeting, what human beings they were targeting, and what color those human beings were." Bloomberg won't be on the ballot in Nevada.

But his spending - $400 million so far - has drawn criticism from other candidates such former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, that he's going to price out other options.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PETE BUTTIGIEG SAYING: "And my concern is that in a couple of weeks, we could wake up the day after Super Tuesday and the options in our party have been narrowed down to Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg." By delegates, Buttigieg leads the pack with Sanders is in second place.

Warren is in third.

But a Reuters/Ipsos polls shows Bernie Sanders has a clear lead with Hispanic voters - a key constituency here in Nevada.

Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic respondents said the self-proclaimed democratic socialist was their first choice.

That moniker, socialist, though, could still be a turn-off for some.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LATINO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF NEVADA PRESIDENT AND CEO, PETER GUZMAN, SAYING: "Socialism is a terrible word, and especially in the Latino community." Peter Guzman is the president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Nevada.

He says younger Hispanic voters may be influenced by their parents and grandparents' views.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LATINO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF NEVADA PRESIDENT AND CEO, PETER GUZMAN, SAYING: "Abuelita and Abuelito aren't too crazy about socialism." But the label carries less weight than the underlying issues for Simon Lopez, who moved to Vegas from New York and runs a production company.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) A&G STUDIO SENIOR PRODUCER, SIMON LOPEZ, SAYING: "As an American, as an American citizen, I have a right to the best of education and the best health in the world.

We're supposed to be the best country in the world, right?

We need to take care of our people." But before you call this race for Sanders, hold your horses.

A key labor union criticized his Medicare for All plan, and Joe Biden received an endorsement from the Latino Victory Fund, a group that backs Hispanic candidates in political races across the country.

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