Donald Trump, down 1.5 points in Nevada to Hillary Clinton, according to the Real Clear Politics average, took his message to the Las Vegas Strip over the weekend in an effort to win over voters in one of the the key battleground states.
Trump held his campaign rally at a venue owned by the man who’s been feeding part of his 2016 campaign. The Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom hosted the event, the marquee Nevada property in Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands portfolio.
Adelson is the largest Republican Party benefactor for the 2016 cycle. Along with his wife Miriam, the billionaire casino mogul donated $42.7 million to conservative candidates and pro-GOP political action committees (PACs).
Standing in front of a packed crowd estimated to be around 5,000, Trump said on Sunday:
“We are on the cusp of a really incredible historic election that transfers power from a failed political establishment and returns that power to our families, communities, and citizens. In nine days, we are going to win the state of Nevada.”
In addition to giving a traditional campaign stump speech, Trump expectedly attacked his Democratic challenger, and applauded the FBI’s decision last week to reopen its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
“Hillary has nobody but herself to blame for her mounting legal problems. Deliberate, intentional, and purposeful. Hillary setup an illegal server with the obvious purpose of shielding conduct,” Trump crowed to his raucous supporters.
Road to the White House
Before last week’s unexpected FBI news broke, it seemed unlikely that the White House was going to be inherited by Trump. But with Clinton’s email scandal back front and center, and the whispered, if vague, possibility of criminal charges forthcoming against Clinton or her top aide Huma Abedin, the 2016 race is once again too close to call.
Clinton has lost 2.5 points in the national average, but she still holds leads in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada. However, she’s trending lower in all of those battlegrounds.
PredictIt.org still has Clinton as the favorite, with her shares trading at 71 cents to Trump at 32 cents. Bovada lists Clinton at -325 and Trump at +225.
One week from tomorrow, voters cast their ballots and make the thousands of polls conducted over the last 12 months obsolete.
The campaign stop at The Venetian also provided the perfect forum for Trump to publicly thank Adelson for his financial support. But it hasn’t been a perfect or even ideal relationship.
Adelson was initially ready to spend up to $100 million on backing the GOP candidate, but allegedly became frustrated with Trump’s atypical politicking and at times outlandish behavior. An associate of Adelson’s told Fox Business recently that Adelson likes Trump “less and less.”
But while other GOP power players, like the Koch brothers and Bush family, have avoided supporting Trump, Adelson has remained loyal to the conservative party candidate.
“I want to thank the great owner of the hotel,” Trump said at The Venetian. “And his incredible wife . . . Sheldon Adelson, really incredible people. They have been so supportive and we appreciate it.”
Casino owner Phil Ruffin, a long-time friend who made a speech at the RNC when Trump was officially introduced as the Republican candidate, was also in attendance.