Michelle Obama wows crowd in Las Vegas

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at a rally in Las Vegas

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – Underscoring the importance of Nevada in the November 6 election, First Lady Michelle Obama arrived Friday to speak to supporters two days after President Obama visited Las Vegas.

Before a boisterous crowd of about 1,000 at Orr Middle School, Mrs. Obama said Nevada voters could decide the election.

“The folks in this room alone could swing an entire precinct,” she said. “As my husband has said over and over again, this election will be even closer than the last one. It can all come down to what happens in just a few key battleground states like right here in Nevada.”

She said that in 2008, the president beat Republican John McCain by 120,000 votes, “which might sound like a lot, but across all the precincts in this state, that’s just 69 votes per precinct.”

Mrs. Obama said it is important to vote and vote early, as early voters seem to favor the President.

This was the first lady’s fourth visit this year to Nevada. Also present in Friday’s rally were Democratic candidates Dina Titus, John Oceguera and  Steven Horsford.

In a statement, Shelley Berkley, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, said the First Lady is “an inspiration due to her advocacy on behalf of military families, working to improve the health and fitness of Nevada’s children, and the upstanding way she has represented our country on the world stage, while raising two young daughters.

“I strongly share President Obama’s belief that middle-class families must be our priority, and that’s why we are committed to creating good-paying jobs here at home, making college more affordable, fighting for equal pay for equal work, and protecting Social Security and Medicare,” she said.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, attended an event Tuesday in Henderson, and Obama was in town Wednesday evening at a rally.

About 10,000 attended the president’s rally at Doolittle Part, which was opened by singer Katy Perry.

Mrs. Obama came during the observance of Nevada Day. The Silver States joined the Union on Oct. 31, 1864.

On Thursday the first lady was in California, where she attended a fundraiser at the home of actor Will Smith and spoke at a campaign rally.

While in California, she urged supporters to come to Nevada in the final days of the campaign to help turn out Obama voters.

Instead of attacking Romney, Mrs. Obama touted the president’s accomplishments, including ending the war in Iraq and drawing down the number of troops in Afghanistan.

At the end of the rally, She encouraged the crowd to join in a march to the nearby Boulevard Mall, a site for early voting.

The wife of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Landra Reid, spoke at the event before abruptly leaving as word of an accident involving the senator’s motorcade spread at the rally.

Doctored declared the senator fine. USA Today reported that Reid was in good condition after being involved in a multiple-car crash.

The Senate’s top Democrat was taken to University Medical Center as a precaution and “experienced rib and hip contusions,” according to a statement from Reid’s office.

He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash and walked into the hospital on his own. The senator’s office said Reid, 72, has been cleared for release from the hospital, USA Today reported.

Follow Bert Eljera on Twitter @vegaspinoy60 and on Facebook at facebook.com/BertEljera or subscribe to get email updates each time an article is published.

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