President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential White House challenger in 2020, are making election pushes several hundred miles apart from each other in pivotal Nevada, where early voting was beginning Saturday, the AP reports. Trump was wrapping up a visit to Western states with an afternoon rally in rural Elko, Nevada, and lending support for Dean Heller, considered the most vulnerable GOP senator on the Nov. 6 ballot as Republicans hope to retain their Senate majority. A few hours earlier and 400-plus miles south, Biden was to participate in at Las Vegas rally at a union local and promote Democratic candidates, urging Nevada residents to get out and vote. In a further sign of the state's importance in the midterms, former President Barack Obama scheduled a stop Monday in Las Vegas.
He won Nevada in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the state by 2% over Trump in 2016. But during the last midterm elections in 2014, many Democrats stayed home and Republicans won key races across the state, which has a 29% Latino population. Trump has used his appearances in Montana and Arizona to try to frame the choices for voters in the upcoming election, contending Democrats are "too extreme and too dangerous" to take control of Congress. He has sought to focus on immigration as one of the defining election issues and has falsely accused Democrats of wanting "open borders" and encouraging illegal immigration. "Anybody who votes for a Democrat now is crazy," Trump said. (Meanwhile, the Justice Dept. says it has already caught Russians meddling in the midterms.)