Clinton wins Nevada, and controversy breaks out among Latinos at caucus
Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses Saturday. While the margin was solid, there was still controversy — and it centered on Latinos.
First, the numbers.
With 88 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton had amassed 52.6 percent of the vote to Sanders' 47.4 percent. The New York Times reported that the former secretary of state was backed by "voters in many predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhoods," despite an eight point lead in Latino support for Sanders according to entrance polls.
“We look at our country and see so much that isn’t working the way it should,” Clinton said in her victory speech. “Americans are right to be angry, but we’re also hungry for real solutions."
While the caucus was taking place, however, controversy broke out, centered on Latinos. America Ferrera, a Clinton supporter, tweeted that Sanders supporters shouted "English only" when legendary Chicana organizer Dolores Huerta offered to translate from English to Spanish for the Spanish-speakers caucusing. She posted a video purporting to document the shouts, but within an hour it was no longer available to view (Julio Ricardo Varela, the founder of Latino Rebels and a member of NPR's Latino USA captured the video before it was removed here).
Huerta — who has endorsed Clinton — later tweeted the same story. But others at the event disputed Ferrera's and Huerta's claims, and another video secured by Varela seems to lend credence to the claims that the objections were to Huerta, as a Clinton supporter, being the translator rather than to the translation itself.
The brouhaha illuminates the growing rift between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters, and spells trouble for Democratic Party unity, even within demographic groupings.
Clinton's high profile Latino supporters, in addition to Ferrera and Huerta, include Reps. Xavier Becerra and Luis Gutiérrez, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, and entertainers Salma Hayak, Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin and Demi Lovato (among others). Sanders supporters include Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Cook County commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García (who ran against Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago), Calle 13's "Residente," and entertainers George López, Diego Luna, Mia Maestro and Chicano Batman (among others).