Trump to appeal to Nevada voters from neighboring Arizona

Wednesday rally held in Bullhead City because of crowd limits here

Associated Press
October 28, 2020 - 5:23 am
US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on October 27, 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Steve Pope/Stringer/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Donald Trump will make a crunch-time appeal to voters in Nevada. But he’ll do so from Arizona.

The Republican president is under pressure Wednesday to prevent a repeat of a September rally in Nevada that attracted thousands of people: The airport that hosted that event was fined more than $5,500 for violating crowd restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Rather than curb the crowds as virus cases spike across the U.S., Trump is simply shifting his event across the banks of the Colorado River to Bullhead City, Arizona. The move is the latest example of Trump’s efforts to condemn Democratic leaders in states such as Nevada who have imposed limits on gatherings to combat the worst public health crisis in more than a century.

That was a message Trump emphasized on Tuesday as he campaigned in Michigan and Wisconsin, critical battlegrounds with Democratic governors who have set restrictions to address the pandemic.

“Speaking of lockdowns, let’s get your governor to open it up,” Trump said in West Salem, Wisconsin.

With less than a week until Election Day, Trump is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in most national polls. Biden also has an advantage, though narrower, in the key swing states that could decide the election.

Trump views Nevada, a state that hasn’t backed a Republican for president since 2004, as one option for success. Hillary Clinton won it by less than 2.5 percentage points in 2016, giving the president hope that he could close the margin.

Democrats aren’t ceding Nevada and Arizona to Trump in the final days of the campaign. Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, was in Nevada on Tuesday night in an effort to prevent the state from flipping to Trump.

“A path to the White House runs right through this field,” Harris said in a Las Vegas park Tuesday evening.

Trump’s campaign is facing a cash crunch, meanwhile, which has crimped his advertising budget at a time when Biden is using his massive funding advantage to flood the airwaves in battleground states with ads. That’s forced Trump to do more of his signature rallies as a substitute, despite a worsening pandemic.

In Nevada Trump and the RNC’s minimal $500,000 ad buy for the week is getting drowned out by $3.3 million in advertising from Biden and his allies, according to data from the ad tracking firm CMAG/Kantar. 

Biden is focusing later this week on states that Trump won in 2016, with plans to visit Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan in the closing stretch.