Latino Voters and the 2020 Nevada Caucuses

Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the nation and are a large part of the Democratic primary electorate, in fact, they comprise 17% of the 2020 Nevada caucusgoers. The Edison Research entrance polls for the 2020 Nevada caucuses are the first opportunity in this year’s Democratic primary calendar to take an in depth look at who Latino voters are, what they care about, and which candidates they support. Here are some insights from the entrance poll.

Bernie Sanders won among Latinos.

Bernie Sanders’ efforts to win the support of Latino voters paid off: he won this group by a large margin. No other candidate came close to Sanders’ support among Latinos.


Many are young, and new to the caucus process.

The Latino population in the U.S. is young (39% of U.S. Latinos are under age 30) and, according to the entrance polls, Latinos who attended the caucuses in Nevada were young. Fifty-five percent were under age 45, compared to 37% of voters as a whole. Thirty-two percent were under age 30, almost double the 17% that age among all attendees.

As they were in 2016, young Latino caucus attendees were strong Sanders supporters this year; 67% under age 45 supported Sanders (similar to the 70% he won among this group in 2016). But among older Latino attendees, Sanders’ support was much smaller, with Joe Biden close on his heels (27%).

In part because they are younger, Latino caucus goers were also more apt to be participating in the caucuses for the first time compared to voters overall. 61% of Latino voters said they had not attended a caucus before; 50% of attendees overall were new to the caucuses.

More than half of these first time Latino voters supported Sanders.

Issues matter nearly as much to Latinos as electability, and they are strong supporters of single payer health insurance

While more Latino voters prefer a candidate who can beat Donald Trump (54%) over one who agrees with them on the issues (45%), Latinos are more likely than voters overall to say the candidate’s issue positions are their priority.

And like all Nevada caucus goers, the issue Latinos most cared about was health care, which led the list of important issues facing the country. 50% of Latino caucus attendees said it was most important, surpassing climate change, income inequality and foreign policy.

Single-payer health care is popular among these Latino caucus attendees; 77% said they support replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone. In comparison, a smaller 62% majority of caucus attendees overall said they support single payer.

They are more likely to have reported living in a household in which there is a union member. Thirty-three percent of Latino caucusgoers in Nevada belonged to a Union household compared to 24% of all caucusgoers who belong to a Union household. In a state with a large portion of its workforce in the hospitality industry, union membership is a factor in electoral politics in Nevada. Latinos who attended the caucuses were more likely than voters overall to say they are or they live with a union member.

Turnout in Nevada among Latino voters had grown in 2016 but dropped slightly this year

In 2008, Latinos comprised 15% of Nevada caucusgoers, and that grew to 19% in 2016 and was 17% this year.

Noteworthy Nuggets

A few other findings from the Edison entrance polls caught our eye….

Elizabeth Warren made an aggressive push for her candidacy in the most recent Democratic debate. That may have swayed some voters: 16% of caucus attendees who made up their minds who to support in the last few days supported her. But that wasn’t enough for her to win this group: these late deciders also went for Sanders (21%), Biden (21%) and Buttigieg (18%).

South Carolina will hold its primary tomorrow. Joe Biden is expected to fare well with the large share of black voters in that state. In Nevada, Biden won black voters with 38% (Sanders received 28% of the black vote).

While Sanders won overall and among younger voters, older voters showed a different preference for more moderate candidates. Biden won among those age 65 and older, followed by Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer.

Most voters in the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucuses were white, while Nevada and the upcoming primary in South Carolina offer more diverse electorates. Nevada’s caucuses gave us some insight into the Latino vote – next up, a state in which 61% of primary voters were black in 2016, South Carolina.

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Edison Research Conducts Entrance and Exit Polls for Nevada Caucuses

On Saturday, February 22, Edison Research successfully conducted entrance and exit polling for the Nevada Caucuses on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP). Edison interviewed over 2,700 voters at randomly-selected caucus sites.

Edison’s entrance and exit polls are used to determine key information from voters, including demographic data, important issues and the “electability” of the various candidates. Edison’s election team captured, processed and analyzed thousands of data points and enabled our member clients and subscribers real-time access to in-depth analysis of the results.


Coverage of our Nevada voter polls can be found here:

ABC News Nevada Caucus Election Results

CBS News Nevada Caucuses

CNN Nevada Caucuses Live Results

NBC 2020 Election Nevada Caucuses

Reuters: Entrance Poll Shows Sanders Ahead in Nevada Caucuses

The Washington Post: Entrance Polls 2020 Nevada Caucuses


About the NEP-Edison Research Entrance Polls: Edison Research conducted entrance polls and early voter exit polls for the National Election Pool (ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC) during the Nevada Democratic Presidential Caucus.   The total number of respondents for both the election day entrance poll and the early exit poll is 2784.  The entrance poll was conducted at 30 caucus locations among 1004 Democratic caucus participants on February 22, 2020.  The early exit poll interviews were conducted in-person between February 15 and February 18, 2020.   Approximately 50 participants complete a questionnaire at each caucus location.


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About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

The New Hampshire Democratic Primaries – How They Won and Lost

By Sarah Dutton

The New Hampshire Democratic Primary electorate is overwhelmingly angry with the Trump administration (79%) and a majority is focused on candidates’ electability (63%) over issue positions (33%), according to Edison Research exit polls. 

The final vote tallies for the top three candidates – Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar – showed a close race, and in the final days, a fluid one. There were twice as many “late deciders” – voters who made up their minds which candidate to support in the days leading up to Election Day – this year as in 2016; 51% of the electorate said they decided who to vote for on election day or in the last few days leading up to it, compared to 25% in 2016.  

Among those who decided on election day or in the last few days before election day, 28% supported Pete Buttigieg, and nearly as many – 26% – voted for Amy Klobuchar. Voters who made their minds up earlier in the race supported Sanders.

Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar had good news heading into the New Hampshire Democratic Primary: Buttigieg won the most state delegates in the Iowa caucuses, and Klobuchar was widely considered to have done well in the most recent Democratic debate.  The New Hampshire exit poll provides more evidence of the boost Klobuchar may have gotten from last Friday’s debate; 49% of voters said the recent debate was an important factor in their vote choice, and she won this group with 29%.

Perceptions of the candidates’ qualities also contributed to the strong showings by Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar. Among the 36% of voters who said they want a candidate who can bring needed change, Sanders was their choice, with 37%.  A third said that a candidate that can unite the country was most important to them, and Klobuchar won them with 33%, followed by Buttigieg with 29%.   

Sanders won with strong support from voters under 30 (47%), the most liberal wing of the party (46%) and new voters (29%). 

Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar took the top three spots in the final vote tally. What happened to two of the other frontrunning candidates, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren?  

Biden’s arguments about why he should be the nominee just didn’t connect with these voters. He has emphasized his foreign policy experience but came in third (20%) to Buttigieg (27%) and Klobuchar (23%) among voters who chose it as the most important issue in their vote (just 11% did so).  

Among the four in ten voters who want to see a return to the policies of his former boss President Barack Obama, 28% voted for Buttigieg and 26% for Klobuchar, with Biden in third place at 15%.  

And finally, Biden did poorly on one of his strongest arguments to voters, electability; among the 63% of voters focused on beating Trump in November, just 10% chose him as their candidate, after Buttigieg (28%), Sanders (21%), Klobuchar (21%) and Warren (11%). 

Warren did poorly with most demographic groups, coming in near the bottom of the field among both women and men, young voters under 30 and voters 65 or older, and Independents.  Thirty percent of white college-educated women voted for Klobuchar, twice the percentage that voted for Warren (15%). As a progressive candidate, she did better among very liberal voters (19%) but came in a distant second to Sanders (46%). 

There is plenty of additional data to mine from the New Hampshire exit poll – more noteworthy data nuggets to come! 


By Sarah Dutton

The Iowa caucuses are over (ish) and the candidates have moved on to New Hampshire, the next contest in the race for the Democratic nomination.  But as the first nominating contest, the entrance polls from the Iowa caucuses can offer some insights into potential trends among the electorate. How did electability factor into vote choice? Did voting patterns match assumptions about which demographic groups back each candidate? Did last minute campaigning have an impact on vote choice? Here are some takeaways from the Edison Research entrance polls, completed as voters went into their caucus locations. 

Electability mattered to nearly two in three caucus goers. These Democratic voters clearly prefer a candidate who can beat Donald Trump in November (61%) over one who agrees with them on the issues (37%). But Iowa voters who prioritize beating President Trump did not coalesce around one candidate who they view as most electable; similar percentages chose Buttigieg (24%) and Biden (23%).  Among the smaller percentage of voters who prefer a candidate with whom they agree on the issues, 36% chose Sanders.  

Moderates and liberals support different candidates, continuing a trend observed in Iowa in 2016.  In 2016, Clinton won moderate and conservative voters by 20 points, while Sanders won most of those who described themselves as very liberal by about the same amount – 19 points.  This year, very liberal voters once again supported Sanders (43%), followed by Elizabeth Warren (28%), while moderate and conservative voters evenly split their votes between Joe Biden (25%) and Pete Buttigieg (25%).  

There is also a gap between moderates and liberals on health care policy. While all three ideological groups chose health care as the most important issue in their vote, they disagreed on how health care policy should be structured.  Nearly nine in ten very liberal caucus goers support replacing private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone, and a majority of voters who are somewhat liberal agree. But support drops to only 35% of moderate/conservative voters. 

Sanders’ supporters overwhelmingly back replacing private health care with a government run system (92%). 

Late deciders broke for moderate candidates. Voters who decide on a candidate just before an election can make a difference in the results;  “late deciders” helped elect Donald Trump in November 2016, and gave Hillary Clinton a boost before the 2008 New Hampshire primary. In the Iowa caucuses this year, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg benefitted from the support of these late deciders; among those who made up their minds who to support on the day of the caucuses, Biden received 24% of their support and Buttigieg 21%. Sanders’ voters had made their minds up much earlier in the race; 64% of Sanders’ voters say they made up their minds before January. 

The age gap that was evident in pre-election polls was confirmed in the Iowa entrance polls. Voters under 30 backed Sanders (48%) over the other candidates by a sizable margin, and while his support was larger among this group in 2016, there are far more candidates in the race this year.  Voters age 65 and over backed Biden. And at 24%, these under-30 voters made up a larger share of the vote than in 2016 (18%) and 2008 (22%). Four in five Sanders’ supporters were under age 45.






Firsttime voters weren’t the force they have been in the past. There were fewer new voters, that is, those participating in a caucus for the first time, this year compared to past Iowa caucuses. Only 37% said this was their first time caucusing, down from 44% in 2016 and 57% in 2008. And while first-timers heavily supported Sanders in 2016, this year he wasn’t the only candidate who brought firsttime voters to the caucuses: 31% supported Sanders, and another 25% supported Buttigieg. 

Pete Buttigieg, who spent large blocks of time campaigning in Iowa, had a good night. While Buttigieg won few demographic groups outright, he ran well among many of them. He won among women (24%), and came in second to Sanders among men (21%). He came in second – again to Sanders – among voters under 45 and won those age 45 to 64. He won college graduates with 23% of the vote, and came in second among those without a college degree. Buttigieg tied Biden for the top spot among moderate/conservative voters (25%), and tied Sanders (24%) with those voters who said health care was the top issue in their vote choice. 

The Iowa caucus process benefits candidates who can hit the 15% threshold in the most precincts, and Buttigieg’s broad appeal among various demographics in the entrance poll helped him here too.  According to the latest results from the Iowa Democratic Party, Pete Buttigieg reached the 15% threshold in more than 80% of the precincts across the state, more than any other candidate. 

Next up –  New Hampshire, the first primary, to see whether these trends continue. 

By Cindy Axne -, Public Domain,

Edison Research Conducts Entrance Polls on Iowa Caucus Night

On Monday, February 3, Edison Research successfully conducted entrance polling for the Iowa Caucuses on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP). Edison interviewed over 1600 voters at randomly-selected caucus sites.

The Edison Research entrance polls provided valuable context to the nation’s first political contest of the 2020 election cycle. Our network clients relied upon the information obtained from these entrance polls to provide valuable content and insight throughout the entire evening of the Iowa Caucuses.

Edison’s entrance polls were used to determine key information from voters, including demographic data, important issues and the “electability” of the various candidates. Edison’s election team captured, processed and analyzed thousands of data points within the short duration of the caucuses and enabled our member clients and subscribers real-time access to in-depth analysis of the Iowa results.

Full coverage of our entrance polls can be found here:






The Washington Post