Hillary Clinton takes the Nevada caucuses 52-48%, a relatively close race, heading into South Carolina next weekend.
The win provides a jolt of momentum to the former secretary of state as she heads into the February 27 South Carolina Democratic primary and Super Tuesday on March 1.
Clinton faced a surprisingly spirited challenge here from Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. The two were in a virtual dead heat in recent days. A win by Sanders, who trounced Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, would have dealt Clinton a dramatic setback.
Clinton relied on strong turnout from Latino voters to hold Sanders at bay. Her surrogates fanned out across the Silver State this week, attempting to portray her as the more trustworthy candidate for Latinos.
"Thank you, Nevada," Clinton said in a victory speech. "Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other."
In a statement, Sanders said he called Clinton to congratulate her.
"I am very proud of the campaign we ran," he said. "Five weeks ago we were 25 points behind and we ended up in a very close election. And we probably will leave Nevada with a solid share of the delegates."
This was by far the best upset opportunity for the Sanders camp. 50% of caucus-goers wanted to continue President Obama's policies, and Hillary won that group 75-22%. She won women by 16 points, 57-41%, and they made up 56% of caucus-goers. Clinton also won Hispanic voters
Where Sanders got close was the fact that independent voters could caucus, and 20% of the caucus-goers in Nevada were registered independents. Sanders won those folks by almost 50 points, but Clinton won Democrats by 20 points. Voters under 30, Sanders won in a 82-14% blowout, 30-45 he won 62%-35%, but in total those folks made up only 31% of the caucus-goers.
Sanders also edged Clinton among men and white voters (9 points and 2 points respectively) and he won Hispanic folks by 8, but Clinton won black folks by a whopping 52 points.
Sanders came very close, but if he's losing the black vote by 50 plus points, he can't win heading into SC next Saturday and the SEC primaries March 1.