danielfela/iStock(LAS VEGAS) — On the eve of the critical Nevada caucuses, President Donald Trump brings the spectacle and media vacuum of his rally roadshow to Las Vegas on Friday, continuing his efforts to disrupt the Democratic primary.
Trump’s event at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday is his third and final consecutive campaign rally this week. He packed arenas in Phoenix on Wednesday and Colorado on Thursday — making it the biggest campaign blitz for the president this election cycle.
“The most valuable commodity we have as a campaign is the president’s time. If President Trump holds a rally in a state it’s because he thinks it can make a difference in winning in November,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told ABC News.
Nevada, like Colorado, is a state the president lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. His reelection team plans to invest in flipping the vote in Trump’s favor in November.
The timing of the Las Vegas rally on the day before the first-in-the-west caucuses continues the president’s ongoing efforts to insert himself into the news cycle as the Democratic party works to pick who will face him in November.
So far, the president and his team view their counter-programming efforts as a big success — with Trump grabbing headlines from local papers to national coverage with each disruptive stop in Iowa and New Hampshire, refusing to seed any ground to the other side.
“If it serves as a little counter-programming of the Democrats and highlights their ongoing train wreck, so much the better,” Murtaugh told ABC News.
Ahead of his West Coast swing, Trump told reporters stacking rallies before the caucuses and primaries seem to be “effective.”
“I went just the day before in both cases Iowa, New Hampshire and so it seems to be effective,” he said.
The president plans to keep up the pace, dropping in the night before next week’s South Carolina primary, and then again in North Carolina the following week ahead of Super Tuesday.
At Thursday’s Colorado Springs rally, an energetic Trump fired off a litany of grievances—targeting topics from Mike Bloomberg’s poor showing at the recent debate to the Academy Awards giving best picture to “a movie from South Korea.”
“It got very big ratings, and you know what? Mini Mike didn’t do well last night,” Trump said. “I was going to send him a note saying, ‘it’s not easy doing what I do, is it?”
On the way way to his Vegas rally, Trump will be greeted by a massive, flashing billboard ad paid for by Mike Bloomberg’s campaign that cycles through six rotating attacks that include “Donald Trump went broke running a casino”and “Donald Trump eats burnt steak.”
It’s a move straight out of the Trump campaign’s playbook, as the re-election team regularly flies airplane banners above Dem debates. The team has also taken out full-page newspaper ads and held counter-rallies.
The president’s plot to shake up Democrats running to face him in the general election continues next week, when he rallies in South Carolina a day before the state’s crucial primary.
Trump will then head to North Carolina — one of the 14 Super Tuesday states — the following week for another counter-rally.
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