Las Vegas Sun

March 24, 2019

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As Trump pushes supporters to polls, opponents must rally in kind


Steve Marcus

A view of the Las Vegas Convention Center before a campaign rally with President Donald Trump, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas.

President Donald Trump likes to accuse the media of falsifying or ignoring the crowd sizes at his rallies.

It’s not true — just a morsel of red meat that Trump tosses to his supporters — but it especially won’t be the case here.

For the record, the crowd at Trump’s rally Thursday in Las Vegas was epic.

The event was staged in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Halls, which, as measured by Google Maps, are about 1,500 feet from the southern edge of the complex’s South Halls. As of about 30 minutes before the start of the rally, the line of people moving in stretched all the way to that south edge and then doubled back several hundred feet.

That’s well over a quarter of a mile of people.

But the point here isn’t to counter Trump’s rhetoric about media coverage.

It’s to sound a warning to moderate and left-leaning voters.

For them, the throng that showed up for Trump should serve as a red flag about the dangers of sitting out this November’s election.

For all of the talk of a blue wave, and for all of the poll results showing Democrats have a distinct advantage over Republicans in voter enthusiasm, Trump’s rally was a strong indication that Republicans are energized too.

As one Trump supporter said while looking out over the crowd, the turnout “shows that Las Vegas loves Donald Trump.”

That’s categorically not true, especially considering that Clark County voters favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election by a double-digit margin. The hundred or so protesters who turned out for the rally also would beg to differ — loudly — with the supporter.

In addition, the crowd’s ethnic makeup strongly suggested that Las Vegas’ minority communities don’t have much love for Trump. In a county where 58 percent of residents are non-white, the audience was overwhelmingly Caucasian.

But there’s no denying that Trump has a large and intensely passionate group of Southern Nevadans in his sway, and they’ll be working hard to elect Republicans in November.

In an election that will have ground-shaking ramifications for Las Vegas and the nation, voters who recognize the dangers of Trump’s extremism simply can’t afford to be complacent.

So while Democratic Party voters hold a statewide registration advantage of nearly 70,000, it’s critical for registration efforts to continue full-throttle through the mid-October deadline. Then, it’s equally critical to get those registered voters to follow through by casting their ballots.

Trump is certainly doing his part to drive his supporters to the polls, urging the crowd at Thursday’s rally several times to turn out in November.

“We need every Nevada patriot to go out and vote,” he said.

So for those who are confident that a blue wave is on the horizon, and are willing to sit back and let other voters decide the election’s outcome, we’d urge you to take a hard look at Thursday’s rally. In particular, check out a short video of the crowd, shot by the Sun’s staff from the Las Vegas Monorail deck overlooking the convention center:

It’s an impressive sight — huge, you might even call it.

And it shows vividly why taking a pass this fall is not an option for those who don’t share the crowd’s opinion on Trump.