LAS VEGAS – It seemed Dean Heller had all the signs of toast this year. He is the only GOP senator to be nominated for reelection in a state that Democrats Hillary Clinton won in 2016. He has teamed up with Donald Trump, who has been abused by many communities here after being "vehement" against him. He voted to lift Obamacare, a risky move that opened him up to fierce attacks on health care.
Still opinion polls show Heller in a dead heat with his opponent, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Just weeks from the midterm elections. Democrats say they are optimistic that a blue wave will help them oust Heller, a victory they need to retake the Senate. But worrying signs that Latino's involvement is lagging across the country and Trump's rising popularity in Nevada could bring them an unexpected setback in November.
"There is a fundamental fact that Republicans tend to get better," said Doug Heye, a former communications director on the Republican National Committee. "[Heller] has done everything right, what he could in a difficult environment … This race will not be decided by thousands and thousands of votes, but by hundreds of votes."
Heller could squeal for his second term if voter turnout reflects the low levels observed in recent interim elections. Nevada Latinos threw only 1
To win re-election, Heller has to outperform white voters in rural parts of the state. Therefore, the White House Trump sent a rally on Saturday to the senator in the remote town of Elko. Increasing the proportion of rural votes would help compensate for more urban areas in the state.
"I think the blue wave is going to be smashed fast," Trump said at the event. "You know, all Democrats want power, and they have that deal with the blue wave, it does not look like a blue wave."
In the meantime, hundreds of miles to the south, the Democrats responded by bringing their own heavy hitters – former Vice President Joe Biden appeared on Saturday and former President Barack Obama is due to appear on Monday – to strengthen their base as early voting has started in the state. Both men are seen as a burden in pure-red states, where Trump is mostly popular, but they could help Democrats fill the void with young and Latino voters in a purple state like Nevada.
"Guys, it's time to come up! Raise our heads!" Biden thundered on Saturday at a job in downtown Las Vegas, urging people to vote for roses. "Remember who the hell we are, take the Senate back and change the world as we know it."
It's a relentless struggle to reach the poll just days before 6 November – one with big ones Impact for this year and beyond.
Will Latinos Show Up?
Democrats may face a major problem for Latino voters who are not as enthusiastic as they were then, when Trump's 2016 candidate for a minority election campaign brought anti-immigrant rhetoric
in several major Latin American For example, districts across the country are performing worse than Clinton did two years ago. Failure to appear on Election Day could seriously hamper Democrats' chances of regaining control of Congress.
"Latinos have been asked to play defense over and over and over again, but vote against it, vote against it, and what we have not had for a long time is something we have to vote for," said David Garcia Democratic candidate for Governor in Arizona, for a recent interview with MSNBC.
A similar trend could also take place in Nevada, a state whose population is about 28 percent Latino and growing.
Heller has shown a surprising strength with Latino voters. A recent NBC / Wall Street Journal poll shows that he has the support of 38 percent of Latino voters in Nevada – a significant amount for a Republican. His campaign has led outreach groups to engage Latin American and Asian-American voters in Nevada, especially those in the business community, hoping to win votes from Democrats.
"We are determined to earn every vote including Hispanics and every other group in Nevada," said Heller campaign spokesman Keith Shipper.
In another regarding the Democratic Sign, the Cook Political Report recently downgraded an open house in the Las Vegas area 54 percent do not know from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic"
It's a sharp contrast to the elections in 2016, when Latino voters queued for hours across the country and in Nevada . make their judgments against Trump. The rise in Latino participation in this election helped Clinton to wear the state and paved the way for Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto to become the first Latin American in US history.
Rosen is not a member of the Latino community and does not speak Spanish. But she has made a great play for minority communities including Latinos.
It has flooded the state with Spanish-language TV spots focusing on key issues such as health, education and immigration. It also supports the adoption of a clean dream law to protect young immigrants who were brought to the US as children.
"Everyone's fired, they know what's at stake, I feel really good," Rosen told HuffPost after seeing fans at an early voting party in East Las Vegas on Saturday with a mariachi Band and taco booths had welcomed.
This race will not be decided by thousands and thousands of votes, but by hundreds of votes.
Doug Heye, former communications director of the Republican National Committee
But the former congressman, who once worked as a computer programmer, is not as well-known as other Democrats who have managed to win nationally.
Cortez Masto, for example, had a history on her side, and former Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Played kingmaker with a prominent Senate post. The Republican super-PACs have now spent million dollars on television advertising to define Rosen as an extreme liberal, supporting protectorates and not doing enough to stop illegal immigration or gangs like MS-13. Trump even gave her a mocking nickname: "Wacky Jacky."
Nevertheless, there is evidence of strong interest in Rosen's offer to the Senate. Her campaign announced this week that she had overtaken Heller with a 3: 1 margin, contributing $ 7.1 million since August. And in even more flashy news, she has raised an additional $ 5 million between October 1 and October 17, her campaign said Friday.
"There is good energy and fundraising went very well for them, if that's an indicator of intensity," said Teresa Benitez-Thompson, a Democrat and Majority Leader of the Nevada State Assembly.
The & # 39; Reid Machine & # 39; revise up
In addition to the big names of Obama and Biden, the Democrats are relying on the fabulous "Reid Machine" named after the former Senate Majority Leader to turn the tide in Nevada. It is an institutional advantage Republican misses, and this weekend things are in full swing as thousands of Democratic Party officials and volunteers start knocking on the door and registering new voters.
One of the organizations that plays a key role in this is the powerful Culinary Workers Union, which represents 57,000 workers in most casinos and hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. His headquarters in the state is a major holding for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket. Biden made a rally with Rosen and other Democratic candidates on Saturday calling for people to vote.
"My name is Joe Biden, I work for Harry Reid!" He cried, starting a gathering of about 500 supporters and union members by calling the name of the de facto leader of the Nevada Democratic Party.
But the Reid machine is missing the namesake this year. The retired 78-year-old Senator underwent surgery for pancreatic carcinoma in May, and while recovering, he has largely disappeared from radar. The elections in November will see if the vaunted operation for the Democrats can still deliver as before.
The personal vote in Nevada runs until the 2nd of November, but we'll probably get a good idea of where the electorate stands. The timing starts on Monday. A significant number of Nevadans cast their votes before election day, thanks to state laws that reduced electoral restrictions, particularly in comparison to other states.
"People can vote this election day anywhere, not just in their constituency," Benitez-Thompson said. "It'll be easier to vote in the state of Nevada than ever before."