Hillary Clinton Wins Nebraska Primary After Losing Nebraska Caucus

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner of the Nebraska primary this Tuesday night, handily outpacing Bernie Sanders by a 60%-39% margin in the early returns [Update: Clinton finished with a closer 53%-47% win as Sanders closed significantly throughout the night]. The win is merely in a beauty contest, however – the delegates to the national convention were awarded in March during their Democratic caucus. Sanders won that with 57% of the vote to Clinton’s 43%.

That disparity in results from the caucus to the primary in Nebraska mirrors a similar outcome in the 2008 presidential primary. Barack Obama soundly defeated Clinton in the caucus 67.5% to 32.2%. But Clinton came much closer in the later primary trailing Obama by just 3 points in a 49% to 46% loss.

At the time that caused some controversy among Clinton supporters, upset that the caucus process – which presents significant barriers for voters to participate and receives much lower turnout – put Clinton at a disadvantage. Supporters were also aggravated by the Texas contest, in which both a primary and caucus were held on the same day. Clinton won the primary, Obama won the caucus.

Clinton did better in Nebraska this time around thanks to a strong absentee ballot effort in the caucus, which allowed more voters to participate in the caucus system. Many counties only had a single location for voters to gather in. Once the voting was made even more accessible like a normal election, Clinton won the state.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/10/16

6 Comments on "Hillary Clinton Wins Nebraska Primary After Losing Nebraska Caucus"

  • Did Secretary Clinton win the NE primary because she actually has more support of voters in the state than Senator Sanders, despite what the caucus process made it seem like?

    … Or did the fact that this primary was a non-binding beauty contest that literally means nothing in the fight for the Democratic nomination, which now also seems mostly wrapped up (unlike when NE caucused), have something to do with voter participation and preferences?

    • “meaningless??” Winning is a winning. Especially when it’s done properly. the caucus experience was horrible. something you’d only experience in a third world country! Last night’s voting system was real. No frauds involved. and that’s why Mrs. Clinton won the State!

  • You idiots. So you take a *completely closed primary* (not even a semi-closed where unaffiliated voters can participate) and compare it to a caucus where independents are allowed to participate? No duh you got those results. Sheesh, I can’t believe the twisted things I see from the media in this election. Plus, you are looking at a primary that doesn’t count — literally — it doesn’t affect anything. Why on earth would people participate? You can see that in the numbers. Do you really think there are only 78,510 democrats in Nebraska compared with the 197,428 republicans? I don’t think so. Yes, it’s a red state, but it’s not 3 times over a red state, and you can see that from the 2012 presidential election.

    And I’ll reiterate: caucuses allow independents to participate, and Nebraska has a *CLOSED* primary.


  • at least to be fair, Bernie should split the delegates received from the Nebraska caucus. This seems very unfair. I wish we get rid of the caucuses.

  • This isn’t the first time we have seen a gravest like this. In 2008, Texas held both a caucus and a primary on the SAME DATE. TX awarded delegates based on both results and you had to vote in the primary to participate in the caucus. Hillary won the primary by 100,000 votes, and Obama won the caucus convincingly. Obama walked away with more delegates, despite the caucus only having a third of the turnout of the primary.
    This results is just further confirmation that caucuses need to be looked at with skepticism.

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