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.