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Hillary Clinton Wins Over Bernie Sanders In Nevada

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There is no hangover in Las Vegas this morning for Hillary Clinton, who beat Bernie Sanders by 5 percentage points in the Nevada Democratic caucuses. NPR's Tamara Keith reports both candidates are already campaigning in the states that will vote next.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: This was Hillary Clinton's first real victory speech of 2016, the first time she could stand before her supporters with the race called and say...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HILLARY CLINTON: Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other.

(CHEERING)

CLINTON: And this one's for you.

KEITH: Clinton was supposed to be the inevitable nominee, but Sanders did better than expected in Iowa and won New Hampshire overwhelmingly. Clinton needed a win to quiet the doubters, and she got it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay and dreams that won't die - this is your campaign. And it is...

(CHEERING)

CLINTON: It is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back.

KEITH: Those men and women showed up at caucus sites all over Nevada, including one at Caesars Palace casino.

UNIDENTIFIED CLINTON SUPPORTERS: Hillary, Hillary, Hillary...

UNIDENTIFIED SANDERS SUPPORTERS: Bernie, Bernie, Bernie...

KEITH: There, people in housekeeping uniforms, chef's coats and cocktail dresses came straight from work. Clara Jauregui is a housekeeper at Caesars who came out to support Clinton. Her coworker Dora Montanez helped translate.

CLARA JAUREGUI: Because she - (speaking Spanish).

DORA MONTANEZ: She's running to go for equality between women and men, so she likes that about it (laughter).

JAUREGUI: Yeah. I hope it's better.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: 153, 154, 155, 156, 157...

KEITH: Once the caucus got underway, it was clear Caesars Palace was Clinton country.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: After final math, Secretary Clinton gets 28 delegates. Senator Sanders gets 12 delegates.

KEITH: Clinton actually won all of the caucuses held at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, and she worked hard for those wins, making frequent stops at casino lunchrooms in recent days, even visiting workers doing laundry on an overnight shift. But Vermont senator Bernie Sanders saw a win in the results as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERNIE SANDERS: You know, five weeks ago, we were 25 points behind in the polls.

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: And we have made some real progress.

KEITH: Sanders gave his speech about an hour and a half earlier than scheduled in a fairly empty stadium in the city of Henderson. Sanders told supporters, taking on the establishment is not easy.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SANDERS: We have come a very long way in nine months. It is clear to me - and I think most observers - that the wind is at our backs. We have the momentum.

(CHEERING)

KEITH: And with that, Sanders was off to South Carolina, which votes next. Polls show Clinton with a significant lead in that state, driven by strong support among African-Americans. As for Clinton, she flew to Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CLINTON: Hello, Houston.

KEITH: Texas is the biggest prize on March 1, Super Tuesday.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, Las Vegas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.