Joe Biden won Nevada over President Donald Trump, securing six electoral votes in a battleground that has been a key piece of Democrats’ electoral map in four straight presidential elections.
Nevada was a top retention target for Democrats after the 2016 election, when the state voted for Hillary Clinton by a slim 2-point margin as Trump won the White House.
Biden hit the state in the final stretch of the 2020 campaign, appearing alongside Nevada’s governor and most of its congressional delegation for an Oct. 9 speech highlighting what he framed as the economic and health impacts of Trump’s “negligence” during the pandemic.
In the week before the election, more than 96,000 Nevadans tested positive for coronavirus and more than 1,700 residents died, according to state data. Nevada’s unemployment rate in September was 12.6 percent, one of the highest in the nation.
And in hitting Nevada especially hard, the coronavirus pandemic damaged a key piece of the Democratic campaign machinery in the state. Half of the members of the powerful Las Vegas culinary union are still unemployed due to the hospitality industry’s shutdown, according to the group.
The union in February declined to endorse any 2020 primary candidate — a major blow for Biden after poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire — but later endorsed him for the general election and mobilized its 60,000 members this fall.
The Biden campaign has also deployed Kamala Harris to Reno, and the singer Cher was featured at a Biden event in Las Vegas.
Trump’s campaign mounted its own final-weeks offensive in Nevada, sending Eric Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Reno and sending the president to Laughlin, on the Nevada-Arizona border. Trump also spoke in Carson City earlier in October, where he emphasized how federal relief for the pandemic had included $4.2 billion in loans to 45,000 businesses in the state.
Almost 1.6 million Nevada residents received over $2.6 billion in stimulus, according to the Trump campaign, and the CARES Act has sent $1.25 billion in aid to the state and $241 million to nearly 2,600 health care providers there.