To: Interested Parties From: Patti Solis-Doyle and Mark Penn
Date: Saturday, January 19, 2008 RE: Huge Victory in Nevada!
Today we won a huge victory by overcoming institutional hurdles and one of the worst negative ads in recent memory. This was a victory for all those who work hard and caucused on behalf of Hillary to revive our struggling economy.
The day after our victory in New Hampshire, the Culinary workers endorsed Senator Obama. The Chicago Tribune noted at the time that the endorsement gave Senator Obama a “significant advantage” because it is the largest and best organized labor group in the state. With nine caucus sites essentially set up for members of the Culinary union, it’s no wonder why Jon Ralston, Nevada’s leading political analyst, noted that the Culinary Workers’ “impact is going to be significant.”
In fact, the endorsement was so coveted that the Obama campaign’s national field director, Temo Figueroa, said over the summer that "The Nevada election is going to come down to: Whoever gets the endorsement of the Culinary Workers Union, more than likely, is going to win Nevada."
Our campaign also received numerous reports of strong arm tactics designed to discourage our voters from caucusing and found itself on the receiving end of one of the most scurrilous smear efforts in recent memory
Additionally, Senator Obama's allies spent tens of thousands of dollars on a radio ad to attack Senator Clinton’s commitment to the Latino community. "Hillary Clinton does not respect our people," the ad said in Spanish. "Hillary Clinton is shameless."
And yet the exit polls are showing that the supporters of Hillary Clinton rejected these tactics. Exit polls show she won the union vote, won across all income groups and won heavily among those around Las Vegas, sweeping Clark County. The Latino vote backed Hillary by over 3 to 1, and Democrats voted for her by a wide margin.
Even among the hotel caucuses that were set up and worked extensively by the Culinary workers, Hillary competed closely or won in all of them.
So as we said yesterday, this was a test of whether the voters would win out through a process that gave significant institutional advantages to Hillary’s opponent. Today, Nevadans won and made their voices heard.