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Gore Picks Up Delegates in Minnesota and Nevada

March 13, 2000|From Associated Press

A smaller-than-expected turnout of about 11,000 people at the first Democratic weekend caucuses in Minnesota gave Vice President Al Gore a near sweep as anticipated in a binding presidential poll.

Gore also was expected to pick up all 20 delegates at stake after a resounding victory Sunday at caucuses in Nevada, where there were even fewer voters.

With 14 of 17 counties reporting in Nevada, Gore had 92% of the vote to 8% for Bill Bradley and others. Although no official delegate assignments were made by the party, state Chairman Rory Reid noted that Bradley would have had to get at least 15% of the votes cast in either of Nevada's two congressional districts to win any delegates. He said there was no hope of him reaching that threshold.

More than 1,000 Democrats voted Sunday in Nevada, up from about 600 four years ago, Reid said.

In Minnesota, Democratic Farmer-Labor Party spokeswoman Karen Louise Boothe blamed the low turnout in the Saturday and Sunday caucuses there on a switch from holding the meetings on Tuesdays and on Bill Bradley dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination.

Still, the former New Jersey senator could pick up a couple of delegates, Boothe said.

Results were still out Sunday night for the binding presidential poll in a couple of state senate districts. Boothe said state party officials wouldn't know the results until today at the earliest.

With 114 of 126 precincts reporting, Gore had received 74% of the votes to 14% for Bradley.

Minnesota has 91 Democratic delegates up for grabs, and most were to be assigned in the caucuses. The binding poll is not a winner-take-all contest, so delegates will be distributed in proportion to votes received. Unless Bradley pulls at least 15% in a district, he is ineligible for delegates. He had yet to reach that threshold in incomplete returns.

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