Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton | wikipedia, the commons

Clinton Presses Attacks on Trump in Las Vegas

Hillary Clinton continued her personal attacks on Donald Trump in Las Vegas Wednesday night as she continues her focus on winning the bellwether state of Nevada.

“He’s an equal opportunity insulter, he’s insulted everybody,” Clinton said Donald Trump before a crowd of about 3,500 supporters outside the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. 

She dismissed Trump's characterization of lewd comments he made about women in caught in a 2005 tape as mere "locker room talk." She urged supporters to hold "intervention" for anyone they know who supports Trump. "Friends don't let friends vote for Trump," she said.

Nevada is a swing state in both the race for the White House and the struggle for control of the Senate. Its bellwether voters have for more than a century favored the country’s winning president in every election except 1976. Trump held two rallies in the state last week as did Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine. 

Clinton is clinging to a 1.4 point lead over Trump in Nevada, according Real Clear Politics polling averages.

Nevada’s Senate race to replace outgoing Democratic Sen. Harry Reid is also a toss-up with the Republican Joe Heck ahead of Catherine Cortez Masto by 44 to 40.6 percent. 

Winning the longtime Senate leader’s seat would bring the Democrats a step closer to scoring at least four spots they need to flip the balance of power in chamber.  

That race was roiled on Saturday when Heck said he could no longer support Trump because of his personal conduct. Many in the crowd booed his statement.

John Tuman, the head of UNLV’s political science department, told American Media Institute he doubts Heck’s jumping off the Trump bandwagon on Saturday will buy favor in Nevada, especially among the state’s Latino voters.

Trump's characterization of some illegal Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” “criminals” and “drug dealers” when he announced his campaign hasn’t gone unnoticed, the professor said. “That probably hurt his standing more than anything,” Tuman said. “And they’re not forgetting what Trump has said.”

Clinton’s slight advantage and support of down-ballot Democrats doesn’t come cheap. She’s outspent the billionaire businessman more than 2:1. Nationally, Clinton has poured $317.9 into her campaign, more than doubling Trump’s $119.4 million, Federal Elections Commission filings show. That’s roughly 90 cents more for each of the country’s 219 million eligible voters.

Clinton started investing in Nevada in April 2015. The former secretary of state’s first TV ad aired in the swing state on June 16. By mid-July, she had spent $4.7 million on Nevada commercials, according to data from Smart Media Group, a Virginia-based communications company.

Trump’s first ad aired in the state on Aug. 19.  

Clinton has raised twice as much money as Trump in Nevada too. Her campaign contributions totaled about $1.6 million compared to her opponent’s $834,872 in donations, FEC filings show. 

But Trump’s efforts are likely “too little, too late,” Tuman said. The UNLV professor doubts the campaign can reach enough voters to make a difference before the state’s polls open on Oct. 22.

Clinton also has a stronger ground game with more than a dozen offices across Nevada. Trump organizers run the battleground state’s campaign from a Las Vegas headquarters and share space elsewhere with other Republican groups.

Clinton, her running mate and other high-profile supporters, including President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have stumped in the state 21 times during the 2016 election cycle.

Trump and his vice presidential pick Mike Pence have made 16 stops along the campaign trail in Nevada, including rallies last week in Henderson and Reno.

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to drum up support for Clinton and Cortez Masto in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Trump and Clinton are scheduled to return to Las Vegas for the final presidential debate on Wednesday at UNLV.