During a rally in Las Vegas Friday night on the eve of the Nevada Democratic caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders mocked the establishment forces agonizing over and attempting to stop his campaign and the diverse grassroots movement fighting for higher wages, student debt cancellation, and Medicare for All.
"As you may have noticed lately, the establishment is getting a little nervous. 'Oh my god, they're putting together a multi-generational, multi-racial movement of millions of people!'" Sanders told the crowd at the "get out to caucus" event. "'Oh my goodness, how can we stop them? How can we stop the workers who want higher wages? How can we stop the young people who want to go to college and not come out with debt? How can we stop the millions of people who understand that healthcare is a human right?'"
"So they're getting nervous," Sanders added. "But you know what? When we stand up together, they ain't gonna stop us."
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 22, 2020
The Vermont senator repeated that message in a tweet Friday night:
I've got news for the Republican establishment. I've got news for the Democratic establishment. They can't stop us.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 22, 2020
But the senator's campaign has not rested on its polling lead. On Thursday, Sanders announced that his campaign and volunteers knocked on more than 500,000 doors across all 17 Nevada counties ahead of caucus day, far surpassing its goal of 300,000.
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"We have built a turnout machine that will propel us to victory here in Nevada," Sarah Michelsen, Nevada state director for the Sanders campaign, said in a statement. "Our goal from day one has been to expand the electorate, and we are so proud to see so many first-time caucus-goers participate during early voting."
The Nevada Democratic Party estimated that around 70,000 people took part in the four-day early voting period—turnout that approaches the 84,000 people who participated in the Democratic caucus in 2016, when there was no early voting. More than half of those who cast ballots early were first-time caucus-goers, a party official told CNN.
"The campaign employs at least 250 people in the Silver State, more than double the staff of Pete Buttigieg, who has the second-largest campaign with 100 people," The Guardian noted. "And an army of volunteers has canvassed for Sanders on foot and on horseback, to reach as many urban and rural voters as possible."
Among those canvassing for Sanders on the eve of caucus day were members of National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union of registered nurses in the United States. The organization, which boasts over 150,000 members nationwide, endorsed Sanders last November.
Nurses are fired up and ready to go!
— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) February 21, 2020
"Nurses are tired of watching our patients suffer and die for no reason—just because they are priced out of healthcare," said NNU president Deborah Burger, RN. "Registered nurses and Senator Bernie Sanders have been fighting for Medicare for All for decades so that every person in this country has guaranteed healthcare, and that's one of the reasons why we are so excited to be campaigning for him in Nevada and around the country."