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Hillary Clinton in Nevada: Will boxer Manny Pacquiao help candidate carry swing state?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Will a boxer highly influence Election 2016?

It's no secret former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be facing a stronger-than-expected challenge in her pursuit of the U.S. Presidency, inside and outside her party.

And while the 67 year old is still a massive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, early returns suggest the national election will be close. Hence, swing states will be vital.

Enter Nevada.

The now blue state accounts for only 6 electoral votes but all one must do is examine the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Presidential Election results to understand how impactful a state such as Nevada can be in a close election. A Democratic loss there would serve as a +12 vote swing for Republicans should the GOP rebound from its defeat there in the 2012 Election.

Earlier this month, the Hillary for Nevada campaign took aim at galvanizing the swing state's growing Filipino community by hosting a large, high-profile Pinay-style dinner in Las Vegas in an effort to solidify and enhance Filipino Americans' support of Clinton in Nevada.

“Our campaign is focused on meeting volunteers where they spend time, building community, and getting people from all backgrounds engaged in our effort to elect Hillary Clinton,” as told to Asian Journal by Don Andres, a pro-Clinton, Filipino-American organizer.

“We want to run a campaign that looks like Nevada, and that means reaching out to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community proactively.”

The number of Filipino-Americans living in Nevada increased by more than 100 percent from 2000 to 2010 and the group represents the fastest growing population of Americans of Pinay descent in the country. 

... So was the event two weeks ago just an appetizer for something much larger?

Will Team Clinton ask superstar boxer and Filipino Member of Congress Manny Pacquiao for help on the campaign trail?

It's no secret, Hillary Clinton dearly wants Pacquiao's endorsement because the fight legend is not only one of the world's most popular athletes, he's a public statesman who is respected worldwide. 

A year ago, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, sat next to Clinton at a dinner function. According to Arum, Clinton asked him to get Pacquiao to the US once she decided to launch her presidential campaign.

"She said ‘Bob, I don't know if I’m gonna run for president but if I do, you gotta get Manny Pacquiao to come over and help me,’" said Arum as reported by ABS CBN News.

After the 2010 mid-term elections, Pacquiao told the Los Angeles Times his endorsement helped Sen. Harry Reid (D - NV), then the Senate Majority Leader, spawn a late rally to overcome what appeared to be imminent defeat.

“[Reid] was behind 4 percent in the polls before I got out there,” Pacquiao professed.

“There’s a lot of Filipinos in Las Vegas.”

Could an endorsement by the great Pacquiao, who would be considered a Democrat by U.S. politics standards, give the former first lady a jolt in the Filipino-American demographic inside and outside Nevada? Can he energize Nevada's Filipino-American constituents and keep the all-important swing state in blue hands?'

"He [Manny Pacquiao] is a great guy and a great role model for the country," chimed Former President Bill Clinton prior to Pacquiao's eighth appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2014.

Pacquiao, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, will likely be back in action in April or May, just in time to stump for Hillary in the summer and/or fall.

“I’m most gratified that he’s a friend of Nevada’s, where his sport is a major player in our economic arena. He’s someone I really admire,” Sen. Reid said of the fight legend in 2010.


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