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Campaign 2018: Big names descend on Nevada to stump for candidates

Updated October 31, 2018 - 7:10 pm

From top Washington lawmakers to celebrities from Las Vegas, a parade of famous figures continue to stream through Nevada to push for their candidates.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined Democratic governor candidate Steve Sisolak and congressional candidate Steven Horsford on the campaign trail Wednesday, making four stops in Southern Nevada.

“If you all don’t vote, somebody will vote in your place. Somebody who doesn’t have your interests at heart,” Holder told a room packed with students at Masterpiece Barber College. “You’ve heard of the Koch brothers? These are out of state people. They’ve put $4 million into (Sisolak’s) race, and they want a return on that investment.”

Sisolak told the students that Holder may be running for president in 2020. Holder told the Review-Journal that he’s “thinking about it” and will decide next year.

Barbering student Thamian Neal, 44, was inspired by Holder’s message.

“He’s right,” Neal said. “That’s why we have the president we have today — because people stayed home.”

Ivanka Trump will be in Reno on Thursday to campaign for U.S. Sen. Dean Heller.

On Friday, California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris will make five stops in Southern Nevada to campaign with Rep. Jacky Rosen, who’s attempting to unseat Heller, and congressional and statewide candidates Horsford, Susie Lee, Nelson Araujo and Aaron Ford.

Harris will finish the day with a get-out-the-vote rally at First Friday in downtown Las Vegas with comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Brandon Flowers of the Las Vegas band The Killers.

Also Friday, the final day of early voting, Donald Trump, Jr. will tour Nevada stumping for Republicans, including Heller, gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt and congressional candidates Cresent Hardy and Danny Tarkanian.

Nevada is ground zero for the critical midterm elections with a highly-contested U.S. Senate race and two open House seats. In the run-up to Tuesday’s election, high-profile figures such as Mike Pence, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Eric Garcetti, Cory Booker and Lindsey Graham have all campaigned in the state.

California billionaire Tom Steyer will kick off a canvassing event Friday with Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, and Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Poll shows narrow leads for Rosen, Sisolak

A poll released by CNN Wednesday showed narrow leads for Democrats in the races for U.S. Senate and governor in Nevada.

The poll, conducted by by the firm SSRS, showed 48 percent of likely voters siding with Rosen, compared to 45 percent saying they would vote for Heller. Four percent said they would vote for “none of these candidates,” 2 percent said they’d cast a ballot for Libertarian Tim Hagan, and 1 percent said they had no opinion.

In the governor race, 46 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Sisolak compared to 45 percent for Laxalt.

SSRS polled 998 Nevadans, 622 of which they described as “likely voters.” The margin of error for the likely voter results is 4.8 percentage points.

The statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight, which rates polling groups on an A through F scale, gives SSRS an A- rating.

Early voting

Voter enthusiasm remains high with early voting nearly complete. Through Tuesday, 402,040 ballots have been cast, nearly double the total early-voting tally of 266,716 in 2014. That pace is behind the 2016 presidential election, but not by much, as 508,154 in-person ballots were cast during the two-week voting period before election day.

Democrats have about 75,000 more active registered voters than Republicans, but the early vote totals by party are fairly close. Republicans have cast 152,772 ballots and Democrats have submitted 169,763.

Is Steve Brown really… George Clooney?

At least two campaign signs for Steve Brown, a Libertarian running in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, feature the face of movie star George Clooney.

The signs were spotted near two intersections in southwest Las Vegas. Clooney’s photo appears to printed on the banners next to the words “Steve Brown For Congress.”

“I confess — I did it,” Brown said. “I thought it was funny. Campaigns get so nasty, it was just a joke.”

Brown said he chose Clooney’s face because his daughters say the actor is really good looking.

If George Clooney told me to take it down,” Brown said, “I would.”

News and Notes

NARAL Pro-Choice America released a digital ad campaign targeting Laxalt for his stance on women’s rights and calling Sisolak a champion for reproductive freedom.

— One APIA Nevada launched TV ads highlighting why the state’s Asian Pacific Islander American community supports Rosen, Sisolak, Lee, Ford and Araujo.

— Ford, the Democratic attorney general nominee, released a commercial featuring his family speaking about his upbringing and accomplishments.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter. Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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