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US media: Hillary Clinton wins Nevada Democratic caucuses

Hillary Clinton is projected to win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, according to US media. The former Secretary of State defeated Senator Bernie Sanders in a closely contested race.

With nearly 75 percent of the total vote in, Clinton edged ahead of Sanders with roughly 52.3 percent of the vote to his 47.7 percent.

It's a much-needed win for Clinton, who suffered a major upset when Sanders pummeled her in the New Hampshire primary on February 9.

Clinton tweeted out a big thanks to her supporters following the results.

In her victory speech, Clinton railed against the societal barriers holding some Americans back. "We're going to build ladders of opportunity in their place so every American can go as far as your hard work can take you," she told an audience of cheering supporters.

Key win

Nevada was a key state for Clinton, whose supporters have long touted her credibility among Latino and minority voters as her silver bullet. Sanders, on the other hand, has generally struggled to win favor among those demographics.

Nevertheless, her marginal victory in a state that was once seen as a sure-fire win for her is a sign that Sanders remains a powerful opponent.

In his concession speech, the Vermont senator played down his loss, instead reiterating his core message of holding Wall Street accountable while lifting up the middle class and the poor.

Sanders soldiers on

USA Vorwahl Demokraten in Nevada - Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders lost to Clinton by a narrow margin

"I am especially proud that here in Nevada ... we are bringing working people and young people into the political process in a way that we have not seen for a very long time," he told his supporters, adding that at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, "we're going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States."

Prior to voting, Clinton did the rounds on the Las Vegas strip, where she made a point of meeting with casino staff, many of whom are Hispanic.

"I need your help this morning," she said to an audience of casino employees earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile, voters are casting their ballots in another key battleground state, South Carolina, where Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are neck and neck.

blc/bw (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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