President expected to visit Las Vegas early July on behalf of Reid


President Barack Obama is expected to visit Las Vegas in early July to give U.S. Sen. Harry Reid yet another White House boost for his tough re-election bid, a source said Monday.

The Democratic incumbent is facing Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, a Republican who's getting financial help from conservative groups that want to defeat Reid, the Senate majority leader.

Reid, meanwhile, has been getting a lot of election year support from Obama, who came to Las Vegas in February to praise Reid as vital to Nevada's future and the Democratic agenda in Washington.

Since then, first lady Michelle Obama has visited Reno and Las Vegas to stand by Reid. And former President Bill Clinton last week told a gathering of more than 700 Las Vegans that they need to spread the word that Nevada can't afford to lose the most powerful senator in the nation.

Obama is expected to hold a Las Vegas event for Reid the first week of July, a source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because a visit hadn't been announced. No details were available.

The White House refused comment.

Reid and the Senate should be on a break around the July 4 holiday period.

Although the Obama visit isn't official, the Republican Party criticized it.

"President Obama's trips to Nevada have only reminded Nevadans of Harry Reid's failed economic policies and motivated more than 28,000 Democrats to vote against Reid in his primary," said Jahan Wilcox, spokesman for the Republican National Committee. "The Democratic cavalry can praise Reid until they're blue in the face, but the truth is nobody has done more to contribute to Nevada's 13.7 percent unemployment rate than Harry Reid."

Reid faced little competition in the primary, picking up 75 percent of the vote last Tuesday while "none" of these candidates got about 11 percent. Several other contenders got the rest.

Both Reid and Obama are suffering from low popularity ratings these days, with more than half of Nevadans unhappy with the 70-year-old senator, according to a series of opinion polls since last year.

Reid got no bounce from Obama's last visit on Feb. 19, when the president spoke highly of him at Green Valley High School in Henderson and to business leaders at CityCenter, polling indicates.

A larger percentage of voters surveyed (17 percent) said they would be less likely to vote for Reid following the president's visit than said they would be more likely to vote for him (7 percent), according to a Mason-Dixon survey taken for the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the Obama events. Seventy-five percent said Obama's visit would have no effect on how they vote.

Contact Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

 

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