Nevada could decide which party has control of the Senate in the next Congress, which probably explains why both parties brought out the big guns on Saturday. In Elko, President Donald Trump was campaigning for the GOP, while Joe Biden was down in Las Vegas.
Elko (population about 20,000), for those of you unfamiliar with Nevada’s geography, is a significantly smaller city than Las Vegas (population about 640,000). Yet, the president was able to draw a bigger crowd — and he certainly let the assemblage know it.
“By the way, Joe Biden is in Las Vegas,” Trump told the rally.
“Sleepy Joe Biden, we call him ‘One Percent Joe.’”
The “One Percent Joe” nickname comes from the fact that, through several runs for the presidency on his own, Biden was never able to capture more than 1 percent of the vote. Granted, he’s among the leaders in Democratic polls for 2020, although we’ll see how long that lasts.
Then, someone in the audience yelled “Creepy Joe!” That, of course, was a nickname given to Biden over his, um, often bizarre behavior toward women, particularly seemingly unwanted closeness and touching in public.
“She said ‘Creepy Joe,’” Trump told the audience while pointing out the woman. “No, I would never do that, I would never insult him like that.”
However, he would insult the size of Biden’s crowd in Las Vegas, which wasn’t exactly huge:
On the first day of voting in Nevada, a few hundred are gathered outside Culinary Workers Union 226 for Democratic rally featuring Joe Biden, Sen. Cortez-Masto, Senate candidate Jacky Rosen, and gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak. pic.twitter.com/3a4p022t0q
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) October 20, 2018
Trump told the audience there were 193 people in Las Vegas for Biden, whereas 6,000 to 7,000 people couldn’t get into Trump’s Elko event.
— Trip Trundle (@TripTrundle) October 20, 2018
— John T. Linn (@johntlinn) October 20, 2018
Whether or not those numbers are accurate is up for debate, but one thing is for certain: Trump outdrew Biden in a much smaller city, something that wasn’t lost on the president.
“We love Elko, but in all fairness, it’s easier to draw a crowd in Las Vegas,” he said, noting that “the blue wave is rapidly being shattered.”
It’s worth noting that crowd size was an early augury of the enthusiasm gap between Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, something Clintonistas seemed to ignore.
This time, they ignore it at their own peril: Nevada, once considered the easiest seat for a Democrat pick-up in the midterms, has swung back toward incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller in recent polls, with an Emerson College survey finding him 7 percentage points ahead of Democrat challenger Rep. Jackie Rosen.
And, given the fact that Biden-Trump could be a potential 2020 matchup, the crowd size should worry the Democrats for reasons that stretch far beyond this November.
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