At an outdoor rally held at a Las Vegas high school Sunday, President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of over 11,000 people, many of whom were Hispanic. Obama prefaced Wednesday’s first presidential debate by saying that he hopes to have “a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep this country growing.” He added, “That’s the debate the country deserves.”
The president won Nevada four years ago, thanks to a huge Democratic voter turnout. Obama said he needs supporters to work even harder now to ensure a second term. “I ask you to keep on believing in me,” Obama said near the end of his speech. “I’m asking for your vote. I’m asking for you to stand with me and work for me. And if you stand with me and work for me, we will win Clark County again. We will win Nevada again.”
Speakers at the Obama rally urged Nevadans to register to vote online by an Oct. 6 deadline or in person by Oct. 16. Early voting begins Oct. 20 before the Nov. 6 election.
The event Mexican rock band Maná performed at the event, and endorsed President Obama on the crowded athletic field. “We have the conviction that Obama is the best candidate for all Latinos,” Maná frontman Fher Olvera said in Spanish, pointing to Obama’s plans for health care, education, and the DREAM Act. “Vote for the president who has cared most for Latinos and minorities.”
Maná’s support could help energize Hispanics, who account for 27 percent of the population in a consistent swing state.