President Trump is holding his third rally in three days Friday afternoon, revving up his supporters in Las Vegas a day before divided Democrats head to the Nevada caucuses to pick their 2020 nominee.
Trump narrowly lost Nevada in 2016 to Hillary Clinton by two percentage points, but the Trump campaign is working to flip the Silver State in November.
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The excitement was building hours before Trump arrived. Fans started lining up for the rare daytime rally as early as 3 a.m. local time Thursday, Fox 5 (KVVU) reported in Las Vegas. By Friday morning, hundreds in red caps and Trump gear were camped out before the Las Vegas Convention center with tents and sleeping bags hoping to get a good spot to see the president.
Trump has been staying at his golden Vegas hotel during his West Coast swing for fundraising and campaigning. He kicked off his trio of rallies in three days first in Pheonix on Wednesday and then delivered a fiery performance Thursday in Colorado Springs.
One fan traveled from the Arizona rally straight to Las Vegas to get one of the first spots in line to see Trump again.
“I went to the Phoenix rally last night and when it was over I was so, I had so much energy I was like, I can make it to Vegas tonight,” Blake Marnell told Fox 5 outside the convention center.
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The Las Vegas rally gives Trump counter-programming in Nevada as Democrats have been crisscrossing the state this week in a final push for votes before Saturday’s caucuses.
Democratic leaders have expressed optimism that the Nevada caucuses, which are run by the party and not state election officials, will go much smoother than in Iowa. Technical and reporting problems meant votes couldn’t be tallied on caucus night and results are still being contested. Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg currently has a narrow delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., but both camps are seeking targeted recounts.
Sanders went on to a narrow victory against Buttigieg in New Hampshire and polling in Nevada suggests he’s poised to be a clear winner on Saturday.
Nevada Democrats scrapped plans to use a smartphone app and are instead using iPads to submit results through a Google web form. Meanwhile, Republicans in Nevada aren’t even holding caucuses, in a sign of support for Trump.
Trump relished trolling his Democratic opponents this week and said he doesn’t care who is the nominee because he’ll defeat them all.
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In a wild rally in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday, Trump openly celebrated Democrats’ intra-party squabbling at the Las Vegas presidential primary debate — and took an unexpected shot at the movie “Parasite,” prompting a scathing response from its U.S.-based distributor.
In the wide-ranging event that resembled a casual conversation at points, Trump also assessed “Mini Mike” Bloomberg and said he “didn’t do well last night” and declared Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign dead because she dejectedly asked Buttigieg at the debate if he was calling her “dumb.”
Trump again called Buttigieg “Alfred E. Neuman,” after the scrawny fictional character, and advised Klobuchar, “You don’t say that even if it’s true!”‘
Trump heads back Washington later Friday.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.