Bernie Sanders came up a tad short in last weekend’s Nevada Caucuses, but that hasn’t stopped his appeal to a certain element of the Democratic Party.
On Monday, Florida’s Democratic Progressive Caucus endorsed Sanders for President ahead of the Sunshine State’s March 15 election.
“Throughout his political career as well as his presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders has proved to be a bold progressive who is ready to fight for the values that DPCF members hold dear,” said Caucus President Susan Smith in a news release. “Like our membership, Bernie views the problems of income inequality, institutional racism and money in politics as structural issues that must be addressed for real change to occur.”
Sanders remains a big underdog in Florida with a recent poll conducted by Florida Atlantic University showing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a commanding 62 to 26 percent lead. Clinton holds a similar lead in South Carolina, site of Saturday’s Democratic primary election.
In terms of delegate counts, Clinton has 502 to 70 for Sanders, a margin bolstered by her support among superdelegates (451 to 19). A candidate must garner 2,382 to claim the party’s nomination in Philadelphia this July.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump picked up a huge victory last Saturday in South Carolina, winning the Southern state and all of its delegates while knocking out rival Jeb Bush in the process.
Heading into Tuesday night’s caucuses in Nevada, Trump took aim at his chief rival, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
“Ted Cruz lifts the Bible high into the air and then lies like a dog-over and over again! The Evangelicals in S.C. figured it out & said no!,” Trump tweeted.
Cruz, who started the campaign with a win in the Iowa Caucuses, is in full damage control amid accusations of deploying dirty tricks. Cruz stands accused of spreading false rumors about Ben Carson dropping out in Iowa, running inaccurate television ads about fellow senator Marco Rubio and trying to paint Trump as sympathetic to gay rights in robo-calls to South Carolina voters.
In the calls, the Cruz campaign suggested Trump’s commitment to traditional family values was questionable because he told a lesbian reporter she could expect “forward motion” on LGBT rights from a Trump Presidency.
“It’s about mandatory celebration,” the robot blares. “It’s about forcing people to bake cakes and photograph gay weddings. Forcing clergy to officiate. It’s about transgender bathrooms in your child’s school. It’s about tearing down your Judeo-Christian values. It’s about tearing down America.”
Trump, of course, wasted no time in returning fire. “The reason that Ted Cruz lost the Evangelicals in S.C. is because he is a world class LIAR, and Evangelicals do not like liars!,” Trump tweeted.
Trump leads the GOP field with 67 delegates, followed by Cruz (11), Rubio (10), Ohio Governor John Kasich (5), Bush (4) and Carson (3). The winner must collect 1,237 pledged delegates in order to claim the Republican Party’s nomination in July in Cleveland.