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A nervous Nevada avoids an Iowa-like debacle

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders declares victory in the Nevada caucuses, telling his supporters in San Antonio, Texas, that he's feeling confident about his chances there, too.

Posted: Feb 23, 2020 6:30 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2020 6:30 AM

Tom Steyer haunts my daughter's dreams. Saturday morning my 10-year-old daughter walked into my bedroom to report her dream that Steyer had come to Reno, like a billionaire bogeyman, creating panic and chaos on caucus day.

I guess this is what millions of dollars in campaign spending gets you. Steyer leaves Nevada as a distant runner-up and unviable. But he bought so much advertising here, he rented space in my child's brain.

As a Nevadan I speak for my state when I say thank God it's over. We can relax now. Iowa's agonizing debacle didn't repeat itself hear. Contrary to the expected chaos, our caucuses were orderly, well attended and a positive experience -- at least in my precinct, and I have not read or heard reports of anything else from across the state.

The Nevada Democratic Party's decision to have early caucus voting made the day itself much less chaotic than previous years, with shorter lines, great organization, and, if early numbers hold, a dramatic upturn in participation.

As a bonus, from my point of view, my neighborhood went unashamedly progressive, with two-thirds of all votes going to either Sanders or Warren. The result was, in fact, a three-way delegate tie between Sanders, Warren and Biden, and the trio placed in that order in the raw totals with only a few votes separating each candidate.

Most people came ready to vote, but in my own caucus precinct, there were still undecided voters, including me. I agonized between Warren or Sanders, both of whom I view as the best people to take on the most important issue in our country: Our President is a corrupt liar, whose policies promote hatred -- racial and otherwise.

In my precinct, I volunteered to be the secretary and count votes for the precinct captain. The iPad software worked perfectly, adding the early vote to the in-person count, clear and easy to follow. At each step, the captain asked if everyone agreed, before moving on.

I worked hard to shake hands and tell my friends and neighbors how much I appreciated them showing up, no matter who they supported. There were a few tense moments, when people didn't understand the process or why a candidate was not "viable," like Pete Buttigieg and Steyer in my precinct.

I felt it was my duty as a citizen to be loving and kind to the people who live in my neighborhood. There were a few angry people when Buttigieg and Steyer didn't make the cut, but everyone seemed to take it well and moved seamlessly to their second picks.

Every conversation about candidates revolved around the catastrophic nightmare currently in residence in DC. People didn't use his name. They called him "the orange one" or other, more colorful expressions. There were as many opinions on how to beat Trump as there were humans here, but the emphasis was on being authentic to ourselves.

Retired Clark County School District teacher, Brad Truax, caucusing for Buttigieg, summed it up for me. I asked him about all the armchair political punditry going on, and he insisted that people vote their conscience. "You should go with who you think will make the best president," he said.

The strategy of having an early caucus paid off for Nevada. It looks like early voting drove up turnout. It did in my precinct, which went from around a little over 60 votes four years ago to just under 90 It doesn't sound like a lot, but replicated across the state, the numbers matter.

I came to the caucus favoring Sanders but open to Warren. I thought a consensus candidate might be possible for us, but after watching the enormous numbers in my caucus, I stuck with Sanders, while my wife went for Warren. Sanders ended up winning the statewide caucus. At this writing, Warren, Biden and Buttigieg were vying for the second-place spot.

There had been real excitement for Warren in Nevada after her devastating takedown of Mike Bloomberg at Wednesday's debate. Warren has also had impressive surrogates come through Reno. On Thursday, I talked to Congresswoman Debra Haaland of New Mexico who made a strong pitch for Warren. "Dream big, fight hard, and stand up for working families and women," she said.

I'm glad Nevada had its say. We are a truly diverse state, full of Latinos, Asian and Pacific Islanders, gold miners, cowpoke, African Americans, liberals, libertarians and gamblers (guilty).

I think we are such a strong representation of America as a whole. We should always be one of the states that lead off the voting, but such a big responsibility comes with frayed nerves, lost sleep and fear of failure. And if you're not careful, Tom Steyer will haunt your dreams.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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Decatur
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Sunshine and warmer air return to round out the work week, but the warm-up is brief.
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