HENDERSON, Nev. — After taking part in a sing-along of “This Land is Your Land,” Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders waved to a crowd here of more than 2,300 people one last time before leaving the stage Friday night to await a very uncertain outcome in the Nevada caucuses.
“Nevada, please come out in large numbers,” the Vermont senator urged to his supporters at his final rally before the caucuses convene at 11 a.m. Saturday. Public polling and the campaigns of Sanders and Hillary Clinton all have suggested the result could be close.
For Sanders, who nearly tied Clinton in Iowa and trounced her in New Hampshire, the Nevada caucuses provide an opportunity to show he can win in states with more diverse populations than the largely white hosts of the first two nominating contests.
Meanwhile, a loss here to Clinton could take some wind out of Sanders’s sails heading into South Carolina, a state where polls have showed the former secretary of state with a large lead.
In his speech here Friday, which capped off a full day of campaigning around the state, Sanders stayed true to his core message of taking on the “billionaire class” and making “a rigged economy” more fair for average Americans.
But he also made a point of saying his campaign has been listening to the specific concerns of African Americans and Latinos, who together comprised 30 percent of the Democratic electorate in Nevada in 2008, the last time there was a competitive caucus.
Friday night’s final event also featured an array of musicians and actors, including the indie rock band Cold War Kids and Gaby Hoffmann, best known for her role in the HBO series “Girls.”
Before heading to the rally, Sanders put in a brief appearance in an employee dining area of the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip, shaking hands and posing for pictures.