No one knows Nevadan politics like Jon Ralston. He’s been the dean of political reporting in that state for many years and has contacts on both sides of the aisle. Operatives in both parties read his “Ralston Reports”. So it was with some interest that I read his column in USA Today on what won Nevada for Hillary:
But the caucuses, which Clinton won by about 5 percentage points, also cemented Prince Harry as a man Machiavelli would have bowed to, a man with one eye who still sees the field better and is still more dangerous, effective and cunning than any pol the state (the country?) has ever seen. Clinton might not have won Nevada if Reid had not interceded last week, when the man feigning neutrality saw what everyone in the Democratic elite saw: Sanders erasing a once mountainous lead and on the verge of perhaps winning Nevada and rendering inoperative the “Hillary is more electable” argument.
The story of the Nevada caucuses is that a lame-duck senator and a self-neutered union conspired to revive the Clinton campaign in a remarkable bit of backroom maneuvering that helped Madame Secretary crush Sanders in Clark County, the key to winning almost any statewide election. Combined with a Clinton machine, erected last spring and looking invincible, that suddenly had to scrape the rust off its gears and turn out her voters, Caucus Day also was a remarkable story of an indomitable candidate, her nonpareil Nevada staff and a ragtag but committed Sanders operation that made them sweat.