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Why Nevada could surprise us

(CNN)Finding a public poll of the Nevada caucuses has been like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There have been just eight polls released publicly over the last three months. Two of those were internal polls. Only five of those have been taken since the primary season began a few weeks ago, and…

(CNN)Finding a public poll of the Nevada caucuses has been like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

There have been just eight polls released publicly over the last three months. Two of those were internal polls. Only five of those have been taken since the primary season began a few weeks ago, and of those, a grand total of zero meet CNN standards for publication.
The data we do have shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders should be favored. Even when former Vice President Joe Biden was ahead in Nevada, it was rarely by more than mid-single digits.
Biden, of course, has seen his numbers slide nationwide. The most recent rounds of polling have been more favorable to Sanders. Some polling even shows him up double-digits, though it varies tremendously. Sanders has a significant edge in the prediction markets as well.
Put all together, Sanders is something around a seven in 10 favorite to win in Nevada. That’s based off of the prediction markets and how good the polling in Nevada has been since 2008 (the first year in which Nevada was one of the first four states to vote). Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are next with somewhere around a one in 10 chance to win. Everybody has less than a one in 10 shot in Nevada.
Sanders clearly has a better shot than anyone else to win, but a seven in 10 shot is not an overwhelming favorite. It means that there’s a decent chance Sanders won’t win.
The lack of confidence we should have in the Nevada outcome is partially because of the lack of polling data, but also because the polling data has not been particularly predictive in the past.
Since 2008, Nevada has been a polling wasteland. Looking at all candidates who polled at 10% or better after undecideds were allocated, Nevada polls taken after the Iowa c

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