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Vice President Harris rallies supporters in North Las Vegas

Updated March 9, 2024 - 6:28 pm

Vice President Kamala Harris rallied members of North Las Vegas’ Latino community and Democratic supporters and encouraged them to re-elect herself and President Joe Biden in November.

“Are you ready to make your voices heard?” Harris asked a crowd of about two hundred at Mojave High School on Saturday.

In what marked her third trip to Las Vegas in the past few months, the vice president highlighted the administration’s accomplishments with reforming student loan repayment plans, passing gun legislation that strengthened background checks and created the office of gun violence prevention, and capping insulin at $35 for people with Medicare.

Harris also criticized the presumed GOP presidential nominee, former President Donald Trump, for encouraging Republican members of Congress to block a bipartisan border security bill. She also went after him for his separating of families at the border during his presidency, for his attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that temporarily delays the deportation of people who came to the U.S. without documentation as children, and for promising to deport millions of people if sent to the White House again in November.

Harris said if re-elected she and Biden will continue to work to secure a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” to increase minimum wage, to fight for an assault rifle ban — which received a cheer from the crowd — and to cap the cost of insulin at $35 for everyone.

“What kind of country do we want to live in?” Harris asked. “Do we want to live in a country of liberty, freedom and rule of law? Or a country of disorder, fear and hate? Each of us has the power to answer that question at the ballot box.”

The vice president has visited the Silver State 11 times since taking office. She last visited Las Vegas in late January ahead of the Feb. 6 presidential preference primary, urging Nevadans to cast their ballots for Biden. She also visited at the beginning of January to congratulate Culinary Local 226 on its collective bargaining.

After the rally Saturday, Harris made a brief stop at Broadacres Marketplace in North Las Vegas, an outdoor flea market that also serves as a hub for the local Latino community.

Also on Saturday, the civic engagement group Voto Latino endorsed Biden and Harris for re-election. The organization, which often aligns itself with Democrats, first endorsed their campaign in 2020.

“Now is the time to double down, to make sure that Nevada sends the president once again, and the vice president once again, to the White House,” said María Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino’s founding president and CEO, at the event.

Voto Latino also announced a $44 million campaign to register and encourage Latinos to turn out to vote across the country.

Latinos are anticipated to account for 14.7 percent of all eligible voters in the November election, a new high, according to the Pew Research Center. In Nevada, 22 percent of eligible voters are Latino.

Former president Donald Trump made gains among Hispanics in 2020, but 59 percent of Latino voters chose Biden in 2020, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. A December 2023 poll from CNBC, however, found that Trump had a five-point lead with Latino voters against Biden.

As for Harris, she has struggled to maintain a wide approval rating among the public, recent polls suggest.

A Redfield &Wilton Strategies March 2024 poll found Harris’ net approval rating dropped to -11 percent, with 44 percent disapproving and 33 percent approving of her performance as vice president. In a Monmouth University poll from February, she received a 58 percent disapproval rating, a trend that has continued since at least March 2023.

According to the Los Angeles Times, after Harris was assigned to look at the border issue and the influx of immigrants coming into the country, her approval ratings began to decline.

At the rally Saturday, speakers ahead of Harris spoke of the Biden-Harris administration’s accomplishments, including passing the PACT Act that expands benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, capping the cost of insulin and pushing for abortion rights.

Nevada’s Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina in the U.S. Senate, spoke at the event, criticizing Trump for what she said was his demonizing of immigrants as well as his remarks that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the country.

“He’s attacking … the millions of people who have given so much to this country and our nation, and that is what we are up against in this election,” she said. Cortez Masto added that Congress can work to secure the border while also fixing a broken immigration system, which received cheers from the crowd.

At his State of the Union address on Thursday, Biden had referred to the alleged killer of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley as an “illegal,” a term he later said he regretted using instead of “undocumented.”

Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, rallied supporters to knock on doors and elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November. She said Democrats will win a supermajority in the state Legislature and will end Nevada’s housing crisis, which she called Gov. Joe Lombardo’s crisis, despite the Silver State long having a shortage of affordable housing preceding his taking office.

“So in the next nine months, our job is to remind voters what’s at stake, and there’s a lot at stake,” she said.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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