Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has won the Nevada caucuses, winning a plurality of county delegates.

In a speech, Sanders sounded a hopeful tone, saying, “When I look out at an audience like this and I see the diversity and beauty in this audience ... I have absolute confidence we can create a government based on compassion, based on love and based on truth, not what we have now of greed, corruption and lies.”

Also competing in the state were former vice president Joe Biden; former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); and investor Tom Steyer. Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg was not contesting Nevada.

3:02 a.m.
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Warren draws sharper contrast between herself and Sanders

DENVER — Warren contrasted herself and Sanders in her stump speech here Sunday afternoon, saying a major difference between them is their approach to the filibuster.

“People ask about the difference between Bernie and me, because there are a lot of places where we agree about the things we want to fight for,” she told a crowd of about 4,000 at the Fillmore Auditorium.

“But here’s a big diff,” Warren continued, using a shorthand for “difference.” “Bernie supports the filibuster. I’m going to get rid of the filibuster.”

Warren’s willingness to draw contrasts between herself and Sanders is a recent development that underscores his dominance in the race. Although she has not attacked him with the same relish she has reserved for others, she has appeared to show a new willingness to point out his potential flaws.

While laying out her plan to jettison the filibuster, Warren did not mention that the White House has no direct control over the rules in the Senate. Asked about this omission later, she said she was drawing a broader distinction: She has a better record of accomplishment in Washington despite her shorter tenure there. “I have a record of getting things done, and that translates into what I want to do as president,” she said.

In terms of changing the Senate rules, Warren added, “It only takes a majority of Democrats to make it happen.”

Later, in response to a question from a voter about her political philosophy, Warren said: “I’m not a democratic socialist. I believe in markets.” However, there are areas where markets do not work, she said, and the government should play a more active role in education and health care.

“Markets without rules are theft,” she added.

Warren spoke briefly to reporters after her rally and said she was “disappointed” with her fourth-place finish in Nevada. “We are headed into South Carolina and then Super Tuesday. I got operations on the ground everywhere. And I’ve got the resources to be able to fight these fights.”

She refused to call Sanders a “risky” choice for the nomination, instead turning her fire to Bloomberg. “Michael Bloomberg is the riskiest candidate standing on that stage because of his history of hiding his taxes, his history of harassment of women and his history of defending racist policies,” Warren said. “I think I am the least risky candidate who stands on that debate stage.”

1:26 a.m.
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Sanders says Medicare-for-all would cost $30 trillion

In an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” host Anderson Cooper pressed Sanders on the cost of his Medicare-for-all plan. Sanders replied that the proposal would cost “about $30 trillion.”

“It will be substantially less than letting the current system go,” Sanders said, adding that other parts of his platform — such as the cancellation of all student debt — would be paid for “through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.”

Sanders was also asked about foreign policy. He said that he would push a military response if China took military action against Taiwan.

“That’s something — yeah,” Sanders said. “I mean, I think we have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow invasions to take place, absolutely.” And he said that he would be open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even as he acknowledged that he has been critical of Trump for doing so.

“Meeting with people who are antagonistic is, to me, not a bad thing to do,” Sanders said. “I think, unfortunately, Trump went into that meeting unprepared. I think it was a photo opportunity and did not have the . . . diplomatic work necessary to make it a success.”

11:23 p.m.
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Marianne Williamson endorses Sanders

Former presidential candidate and self-help guru Marianne Williamson endorsed Sanders during a surprise guest appearance at a rally in Texas for the candidate.

Williamson, who grew up in Texas, said that Sanders’s movement is already happening.

“He won Iowa. He won New Hampshire. He won Nevada.” She compared this moment to other turning points, including the civil and women’s rights movements.

“Bernie Sanders has been taking a stand for a very long time,” she said. “We’re here, and we’re with Bernie.”

Sanders thanked Williamson as he took the stage.

11:14 p.m.
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Voter to Buttigieg: What was it like to meet Ellen DeGeneres?

After attending church in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday morning, Buttigieg flew north for a quick stop in the D.C. area, and the crowds followed.

Lines wound around multiple blocks near Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, where the campaign funneled thousands onto the football field, but couldn’t avoid a delayed start because of the crowd size. A day after he drew 8,500 to an event in Aurora, Colo., Buttigieg drew 8,800 to another Super Tuesday state.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), one of Buttigieg’s earliest endorsers, introduced the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., to a crowd that was still filing in and included people outside the stadium. When Buttigieg took the mic, he delivered his revamped, freshly edgy stump speech, attacking Sanders’s ability to unify enough people to win a general election.

“I respect my friend Senator Sanders. I believe the ideals he talks about are ideals we all share. But I believe the way we will build the movement to defeat Donald Trump is to call people into our tent, not call them names online,” Buttigieg said, making a not-so-veiled argument against the boisterous online behavior of some of Sanders’s supporters. Buttigieg had been politely critiquing Sanders since the Iowa caucuses, but he began a full-fledged barrage against the primary leader with a pointed speech in Nevada on Saturday evening.

In that speech, Buttigieg debuted a fresh argument for his candidacy: He argued that he, rather than Sanders, will be the candidate who can help Democrats not only win back the White House, but also win down-ballot races. He said voters must consider “those Senate races we’re going to need so badly to make sure the judiciary is not permanently remade in the wrong direction.”

“We need to make sure we have a nominee at the top of the ticket who cannot just take back the White House, but keep the House in the right hands and send Mitch McConnell packing,” Buttigieg said. “We dare not attack those voices in the Democratic Party focused on keeping those seats in the right hands.”

Buttigieg took a few pre-submitted questions, including one from a voter who asked him what it was like to meet Ellen DeGeneres.

“Ellen’s the best,” he said, before wrapping up his remarks and welcoming his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, to the stage to wave goodbye — a new staple of his rallies.

10:22 p.m.
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Nevada Democrats rebuff Buttigieg request to hold off on releasing final numbers

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Democrats are rebuffing a request from Buttigieg’s presidential campaign to hold off on releasing final numbers from Saturday’s caucuses until the party rectifies errors the campaign claims it has discovered.

In a Saturday night letter, Michael Gaffney, the Buttigieg campaign’s national ballot access and delegates director, asked the state party to release separate early vote and in-person totals for each precinct; to correct any errors arising from the integration of early votes; and to “explain anomalies in the data.”

“Given how close the race is between second and third place, we ask that you take these steps before releasing any final data,” Gaffney wrote to the party’s chairman, William McCurdy II.

But Molly Forgey, a spokeswoman for the state party, said Democratic officials would continue to verify and report results, about half of which had been published on the state party’s website by Sunday morning, almost 24 hours after the caucuses got underway.

“We never indicated we would release a separate breakdown of early vote and in-person attendees by precinct and will not change our reporting process now,” Forgey said in a statement, adding that any campaign wishing to query the results would have to do so through a formal method laid out in the party’s “recount guidance.”

The letter from Gaffney alleged a slew of problems, including “200 incident reports” from across the state. By his account, the issues included early vote data not being delivered or being delayed, the data figuring improperly in caucus-day calculations, and the data being allocated to the wrong candidate. “In at least one location, early vote data from the wrong precinct was used,” he wrote.

Forgey declined to say whether the campaign’s claims had merit, affirming only that “we are continuing to verify and to report results.”

9:26 p.m.
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Poll shows Sanders leading Democrats in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania

A survey shows Sanders leading the Democratic field in three states that will be key battlegrounds in the race to the White House.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison/YouGov poll of likely Democratic primary voters shows Sanders taking 25 percent of the vote in Michigan, which holds its primary on March 10. His nearest competitor is Biden, who takes 16 percent.

In Wisconsin, which holds its primary on April 7, the survey shows Sanders taking 30 percent among likely Democratic primary voters. Biden and Bloomberg trail far behind, with 13 percent each.

And in Pennsylvania, Sanders leads with 25 percent, although the gap there is narrower: Biden trails with 20 percent, and Bloomberg takes 19 percent. The state holds its primary on April 28.

“Sanders is well positioned to pick up the lion’s share of delegates in these states unless another Democrat breaks away from the pack to challenge him,” Barry Burden, a political science professor who leads the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said in a statement.

The poll has a margin of error of between three to four percentage points depending on the state. The university surveyed 1,300 likely voters in Michigan, 1,300 in Pennsylvania and 1,000 in Wisconsin.

8:49 p.m.
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Sanders tells crowd he can beat Trump, turn Texas blue

HOUSTON — Sanders opened his Sunday afternoon campaign rally at the University of Houston by taking on a question that has increasingly dominated cable news panels as he has piled up victories: If Sanders becomes the nominee, can he beat President Trump?

“Some of the folks in the corporate media are getting a little bit nervous,” Sanders said before an enthusiastic crowd of more than 6,200. “And they say Bernie can’t beat Trump.”

Sanders then listed the results of a few recent polls that he says show him beating Trump nationally and in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Before Sanders took the stage, his crowd repeatedly chanted: “Bernie beats Trump.” It’s a sentiment that often appears on signs and buttons at Sanders’s rallies.

Sanders said he expects to win the Democratic primary in Texas on March 3, and that he doesn’t believe Texas is a solidly conservative state that won’t vote for a Democrat for President in the general election.

“This state, maybe more than any other state, has the possibility of transforming this country,” he said. “On television, they say, ‘You know, Texas is a conservative state, it’s a red state’ — I don’t believe it for a minute.

“If the working people and the young people of this state — black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American — if our people stand together, come out to vote, we are going to win here in Texas.”

While some of Sanders’s Democratic opponents have used their public remarks in recent days to warn voters against allowing Sanders to become the nominee, Sanders dedicated much of his speech to attacking the president and promising to reverse his actions. Early in the speech, he listed promises that Trump made and broke, including promising health care for everybody and then trying to take away the health insurance of many.

Throughout the speech, Sanders described the president as a liar and hypocrite. “Donald Trump thinks climate change is a hoax,” Sanders said at one point. “I think Donald Trump is a hoax.”

But Sanders did take a swing at former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is financing his own campaign and has been heavily investing in Texas. “Michael Bloomberg, like anybody else in America, has the right to run for president,” Sanders said, “but he does not have the right to buy the presidency.”

8:15 p.m.
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In South Carolina, black women talk Biden, Sanders — and the importance of voting

CHARLESTON, S.C -- At an afternoon brunch in Charleston, S.C., about 60 women gathered to talk about the importance of black voters ahead of Saturday’s primary, the first contest in which black voters make up a majority of the electorate.

One central theme the women returned to again and again: Black voters are not monolith. And campaigns need to work to appeal to them.

Black voters have buoyed Biden’s candidacy, and he’s commanded a wide lead in this state for months. But recent polls have shown him slipping.

State Rep. Krystle Matthews (D) has endorsed Sanders, and thinks he will pull an upset Saturday. Recent polls, both nationally and in South Carolina, have shown his support among black voters rising more quickly than other candidates in the field.

Sanders is gaining traction in South Carolina, Matthews says, because “people are changing their minds.” She also noted the campaign’s big effort to get out the vote. “Sanders’s campaign knocked on 30,000 doors yesterday,” she said.

Matthews, 38, is a first-term state legislator. She is single mother of five and works for Boeing. She says Sanders‘s message is resonating in part because of growing income inequality in the state. “South Carolina is booming,” she said, but working class families “are getting squeezed. The cost of living is one the rise, the coat of living in Charleston is on the rise. We need a reprieve.”

The brunch was sponsored by Higher Heights, which encourages black women to participate in politics as voters and candidates.

During a panel discussion, some speakers acknowledged that many voters are still undecided — 20 percent according to a recent Winthrop poll of South Carolina voters. But they said that sitting out the election is not an option. “A no vote is still a vote,” Matthews said.

Carolyn Murray, a local television anchor, encouraged women unhappy with their leadership choices to do what Matthews did: run for office.

7:32 p.m.
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Klobuchar hits Sanders in retooled stump speech

After a disappointing finish in the Nevada caucuses — and an incisive victory there by Sanders — Klobuchar has retooled her stump speech, hitting the Vermont senator earlier and warning Democratic voters that nominating Sanders could have consequences for down-ballot races.

“Who do we want to have as a candidate that heads up our ticket?" Klobuchar told a crowd in Fargo, N.D., Sunday, according to CNN reporter Jasmine Wright. "I think we know we have a choice to make as a party.”

The message was similar to one Buttigieg delivered Saturday night, in which he praised Sanders for a “strong showing” in Nevada — then spent the rest of his speech criticizing him.

“Sen. Sanders’ revolution has the tenor of combat, division and polarization, a vision where whoever wins the day, nothing will change the toxic tone of our politics," Buttigieg said Saturday.

Klobuchar has campaigned as a moderate who can win over Republicans and independents, and has been vocally opposed to some of Sanders’s signature policies, including Medicare-for-all.

After a strong performance in the January debate, Klobuchar catapulted to a third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and touted momentum in fundraising and in polling. However, early returns from Nevada show her in a distant fifth place.

7:16 p.m.
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Warren releases plan for ‘just and equitable cannabis industry’

Warren rolled out a plan Sunday for a “just and equitable cannabis industry,” aimed at not only legalizing recreational marijuana but also putting regulations in place so that tax revenue from subsequent cannabis sales benefits communities of color unfairly targeted by old marijuana laws.

“Legalizing marijuana gives us an opportunity to repair some of the damage caused by our current criminal justice system, to invest in the communities that have suffered the most harm, and to ensure that everyone can participate in the growing cannabis industry,” Warren stated in the plan. “We have an opportunity now to get this right, and I’ll fight to make that happen.”

Like most of her Democratic opponents, Warren supported Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) Marijuana Justice Act, which would legalize marijuana federally and erase past convictions for pot use or possession.

However, her campaign said in a statement, those two measures “won’t fully end the War on Drugs or address its painful legacy.”

“Legalizing marijuana is about more than just allowing recreational use, or the potential medicinal benefit, or the money that can be made from this new market,” Warren wrote. “It’s about undoing a century of racist policy that disproportionately targeted Black and Latino communities. It’s about rebuilding the communities that have suffered the most harm. And it’s about ensuring that everyone has access to the opportunities that the new cannabis market provides.”

Under her plan, Warren vowed to use presidential executive authority if Congress refused to take action to legalize marijuana. She also said she would advocate for immigrants with nonviolent drug offenses — such as marijuana possession — to be protected from deportation and still be eligible for a pathway to citizenship.

Drawing from several of her other plans, Warren said she would fight to make sure communities of color were included in a burgeoning cannabis industry by strengthening collective bargaining laws, ensuring entrepreneurs of color have equal access to the banking system and establishing a fund to support women- and minority-owned cannabis businesses.

“Some research has shown that today, less than a fifth of the people involved at an ownership or stake-holder level in the cannabis industry are people of color, while black people made up less than 5 percent,” Warren wrote. “We cannot allow affluent and predominantly white hedge-funders and capital investors to hoard the profits from the same behavior that led to the incarceration of generations of Black and Latino youth.”

Two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to recent data from the Pew Research Center. Of the candidates who remain in the Democratic primary, only Biden and Bloomberg do not support legalizing recreational marijuana. Biden prefers to leave legalization up to the states, but he argues for decriminalizing the drug, meaning users could not be arrested for possessing it.

Kevin Uhrmacher contributed to this report.

5:52 p.m.
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Top Pence aide maintains Russia is not trying to help Trump in 2020

On NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Pence, said he believed that Russia and other countries have “consistently tried to interfere” in U.S. elections, but he dismissed reports that the Kremlin was trying to help President Trump specifically in the 2020 election.

Short said Trump was frustrated by administration officials briefing congressional Democrats before briefing the president himself. Short also criticized what he described as Democrats’ efforts — and particularly those of Trump’s primary nemesis during the impeachment hearings, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff — “to intentionally distort and leak information."

“His frustration is when … mid-level people go up in front of the House Intelligence Committee before they brief the president and they go up and they brief Chairman Schiff. He knows that information is going to get leaked out and distorted,” Short said.

President Trump on Feb. 21 criticized a Roger Stone juror and the Democratic Nevada caucuses and dismissed reports that Russia wants him reelected. (Reuters)

At his rally Friday in Las Vegas on the eve of the Nevada caucuses, Trump dismissed reports that Russia again is preparing to intervene on his behalf, calling them “a rumor” and “disinformation” by Democrats. He added that Russia was more likely to support Sanders, who “honeymooned” in Moscow. On “Meet the Press,” Short characterized Sanders as someone who “seems to prefer Marxism over capitalism.”

The Trump administration, Short asserted, has enhanced election security.

Short challenged the notion that Joseph Maguire was dismissed as acting director of national intelligence because of the House briefing, saying that the president hoped to find another administration job for Maguire.

Short also said he disagreed with retired U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, who wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Maguire was “dismissed for doing his job: overseeing the dissemination of intelligence to elected officials.”

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about here,” Short said, referring to McRaven.

4:47 p.m.
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Biden dismisses notion that South Carolina is his ‘firewall’

Joe Biden on Sunday dismissed the suggestion that South Carolina is his campaign’s “firewall” and acknowledged that better-funded candidates such as Tom Steyer have gained ground in recent weeks by spending profusely in the state.

“What’s happening is you have Steyer spending hundreds of millions, tens of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars, out campaigning there,” Biden said in an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” “And so I think a lot is happening in terms of the amount of money being spent by the billionaires to try to cut into the African American vote. I think that has a lot to do with it.”

The former vice president declined to “pontificate” on whether a second- or first-place finish is necessary for his campaign, saying only, “I’m going to go all the way through this thing.”

He also called on the intelligence community to brief all the presidential campaigns on alleged Russian interference efforts. And he argued Russia would be loath to see a Biden presidency.

“The Russians don’t want me to be the nominee. ... They don’t want Biden running. They’re not — no one’s helping me to try to get the nomination. They have good reason,” he said.

4:08 p.m.
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Steyer qualifies for next Democratic debate

Steyer qualified for the next Democratic debate, after receiving 18 percent in a poll of South Carolina voters.

The Democratic National Committee changed its qualifying rules before the January debate to allow for candidates to make the debate stage through polling or by earning at least one delegate in an early-nominating state (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina).

In a statement, the campaign said Steyer is excited to be in the debate at this “critical phase”

"On the debate stage Tuesday night, Tom will demonstrate that he is the only candidate who can expose Trump on the economy, put together a diverse coalition that can win in November, and break the corporate stranglehold over our government,” they said.

Steyer will join six other candidates who qualified for the Feb. 25 debate in Charleston, S.C.: Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren.

3:30 p.m.
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Buttigieg campaign questions Nevada results in letter to state party

Buttigieg’s presidential campaign is asking that the Nevada State Democratic Party hold off on releasing final results from Saturday’s caucuses until the party rectifies a series of errors the campaign claims it has discovered in the processing of materials and tabulation of the numbers.

The state party had released figures from about half of the roughly 2,000 precincts late Saturday when the letter arrived from Michael Gaffney, the campaign’s national ballot access and delegates director. The early results showed Sanders with a thumping victory, followed by Biden. They showed Buttigieg in third place, just on the edge of the 15-percent threshold required to take delegates to the national convention from the state.

In a statement accompanying the letter, Hari Sevugan, Buttigieg’s deputy campaign manager, said internal numbers showed a “razor-thin margin for second place in Nevada.”

In his letter to the party’s chairman, William McCurdy II, Gaffney raised questions about the integration of preferences from Nevada’s four-day early voting period into caucus-day support. He asked the state party to release separate early vote and in-person totals for each precinct; to correct any errors arising from the integration of early votes; and to “explain anomalies in the data.”

“Given how close the race is between second and third place, we ask that you take these steps before releasing any final data,” Gaffney wrote. The campaign asked the state party to respond by 6 a.m. PST. A spokeswoman for the state party didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.