President Trump pitches Nevada voters from Arizona after rally-related fines

President Trump pitches Nevada voters from Arizona after rally-related fines

October 28, 2020

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President Trump will make his final pitch to voters in the swing state of Nevada on Wednesday from battleground Arizona after exorbitant coronavirus-related fees were imposed following a September rally that attracted thousands. 

Douglas County and Minden Airport were fined more than $5,500 for violating health restrictions in October.

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Trump has since shifted this week's event across the banks of the Colorado River to Bullhead City, Ariz. — which borders the Silver State's town of Laughlin. 

The change will put Trump in a strongly Republican area of northwestern Arizona and about an hour from Las Vegas, but still in that city’s television market, according to The Associated Press. 

From there, the president flies to the Copper State capital of Phoenix for another rally at the Goodyear Airport.

This isn't the first time the president has banked on the success of cross-campaigning. 

In September, Trump rallied in Virginia and used the Newport News media market to reach voters in neighboring North Carolina.

In 2017, the president held an event in Florida that backed Alabama Republican Roy Moore just before a Senate special election. 

With less than a week until Election Day, the president's gamble and increased efforts to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic could backfire or — in restriction-heavy states like Nevada — win big. 

The worst public health crisis in more than a century, the virus has taken the lives of almost 230,000 Americans to date.

Speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that the U.S. is "not going to control the pandemic" but it would "control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas."

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Tuesday, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote in a press release that the president could list "ending the COVID-19 pandemic" as one of his first-term accomplishments, even as cases continue to spike.

Campaigning in the Rust Belt's Michigan and Wisconsin battlegrounds this week — both states with Democratic governors – Trump told rally attendees that they "wouldn't be hearing so much about" the coronavirus on Nov. 4, 2020. 

"We are turning the corner. We are rounding the curve, we will vanquish the virus," Trump said in West Salem, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. 

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has run his campaign more cautiously, going digital for the first few months of the pandemic. 

The former vice president has led in nationwide polling over the past few months as the public's assessment of Trump's handling of the pandemic has soured.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the Biden-Harris campaign blasted the president's trip. 

"Nevadans live with the consequences of President Trump’s failures every single day. COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state despite the president’s claims that we are 'rounding the turn' on the pandemic," they wrote. "Nearly 200,000 Nevadans are out of work, yet the White House says they've given up on trying to control the pandemic. Businesses across the state are shuttered and Nevada’s economy remains fractured."

Democrats are hoping that coronavirus woes and healthcare concerns will sway enough voters in states like Arizona to flip them from the GOP. Biden's running mate California Sen. Kamala Harris was in Nevada on Tuesday and will be campaigning in Arizona at the same time as the president. 

“A path to the White House runs right through this field,” Harris remarked.

Biden will spend Wednesday in Delaware and receive a virtual briefing from health experts on COVID-19 before giving a speech on the same subject. 

But, while Democrats are turning out in droves for early voting and casting ballots by mail, Republicans will make their push at the polls on Nov. 3.

In a final advertising drive, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have focused their efforts on television marketing, allocating $25 million to battleground states.

Yet the president's campaign itself is facing a "cash crunch," and his opponent has a funding advantage that has forced the president to hold more in-person rallies.

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The Associated Press also reported that the Biden-Harris campaign is spending nearly twice as much as the president in Arizona. Recent polls in both Arizona and Nevada have shown Biden with small leads.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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