That word has been bandied around a few times in this campaign, usually when Hillary Clinton has complained (somewhat resentfully) that the caucus system in Iowa excluded night-shift waitresses and military personnel. But the Nevada caucuses are bringing the word back in its more familiar racial context, per the Las Vegas Sun:

Obama, framed by a portrait of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in a Doolittle Community Center classroom, addressed the lawsuit in which a group of Democratic activists, including the state teachers union, is suing the Democratic Party, declaring as unfair the existence of nine at-large caucus sites on the Strip. Those sites are designed to allow shift workers union and nonunion to caucus in case the 11:30 a.m. start time falls during their workday. The plaintiffs say the Strip caucus sites are designed to give an unfair advantage to the Culinary.

Obama addressed the lawsuit head-on: “Look, the caucus structure was agreed to by every major player in the Democratic Party here in Nevada and was negotiated by the major players in the Democratic National Committee. Six days before the caucus is taking place, some of the people who were connected to setting up this very structure are now filing suit, trying to change the rules. It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that people were unhappy about the outcome of the Culinary Union endorsement process and now people are trying to fix it. In the process it is disenfranchising dishwashers and bartenders who work hard and should be able to participate in their democracy.”

Although Obama didn’t mention it, his surrogates, including Culinary Secretary-Treasurer D. Taylor and state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, are quick to point out that many of those who would be “disenfranchised” are black or Hispanic.

For black voters especially, the issue of disenfranchisement is not to be trifled with, considering America’s Jim Crow past and the history of willful suppression of the black vote.

P.S. Read to the end of the article to learn Obama's favorite character on The Wire. (A small but telling example of why, on a superficial level, the media falls for Obama. Can you imagine Hillary talking in such detail about an edgy television show, much less naming a thug as her favorite character...?)

--Michael Crowley