Hillary Clinton surprised thousands of Latinxs last night by making an unannounced appearance at an outdoor debate-watch party shortly after mopping up the stage with Donald Trump in Las Vegas.
But her unscheduled appearance was not random. Clinton's late-night campaign stop is part of a final push to win Latinx voters in Nevada, an important swing state the Dems need to push blue.
“I’m proud to be here with my husband and with all of you as far as the eye can see,” Clinton said to a crowd of more than 6,000 Latinxs gathered in North Las Vegas, about 14-miles away from the debate stage.
Latinx voters in Nevada could be the determining factor in how the state goes, both in the presidential election and in key congressional races. Catherine Cortez Masto, who's running to be the first Latinx woman elected to Senate, shared the stage with Clinton last night.
Also present were House candidate Ruben Kihuen, a Mexican immigrant who would be Nevada’s first Latino congressman, and celebrities such as iconic Mexican singer Vicente Fernández, Angélica María and the Grammy-winning norteño band Los Tigres del Norte.
Clinton took advantage of her post-debate stage time to connect with Latinx voters on a subject that hits close to home.
“Half of undocumented workers in Nevada pay federal income taxes, which means you pay more to support this country than Donald Trump does,” Clinton told the group, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I just want to say thank you for your hard work."
She added, “I’ll fight to keep families together. We are not going to let Donald Trump have a deportation force that will round up 11 million people, along with their four million children who were born in this country."
Clinton also had a chance to chum around with Vicente Fernández backstage.
“It’s so wonderful you’re here, I love your songs,” Clinton told Fernández, who last month endorsed Clinton with a corrido written in her honor.
The number of eligible Latinx voters in Nevada has increased from 228,000 to an estimated 388,000 over the past eight years, according to the Pew Research Center. In a state where some races have been won by margins as slim as 428 ballots, Latinx voters can make or break a candidate.