In Las Vegas, Clinton Volunteers Remain Enthusiastic Close To Election Day

Nov 3, 2016
Originally published on November 3, 2016 7:14 pm
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The FBI's continuing inquiry into Hillary Clinton's private email server has cast a shadow over her campaign. Her most fervent supporters are undeterred, though. NPR's Tamara Keith caught up with some Clinton campaign volunteers in Las Vegas.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Much has been made of the passion of Donald Trump supporters, but Clinton backers say their passion is real, too. Donna West has converted her east Las Vegas garage into a satellite Clinton campaign office, decorated with signs she picked up at the Democratic Convention.

DONNA WEST: So we launch canvassers out of here to go knock on doors every day, and tonight we're having phone banks here in my garage.

KEITH: On a recent evening, there are about a dozen people in all, sitting at card tables, using their cell phones to call voters, while others paint signs that say Love Trumps Hate.

WEST: I just turned 60 a week ago. And I remember when I was out burning my bra and marching for the Equal Rights Amendment, thinking, we're going to have a woman president. I just didn't realize I was going to have to wait my entire lifetime to get here, but we're here.

KEITH: The October Surprise involving Clinton's email server has only given West more drive to work for her candidate. She says not a single voter she's spoken to in recent days has brought it up as a concern. Kavin Burkhalter is about to paint a sign. He's 47 years old and works in sales. And much to his partner's dismay, Burkhalter keeps taking detours on his way home from work.

KAVIN BURKHALTER: And all of a sudden, take a right turn and go to the Hillary Clinton headquarters. And I'd stop there and make 30 calls real fast. And he'd text me - where are you? I'm like, you know where. And he's like, your free job (laughter). And I'd like, yes, my free job.

KEITH: Ever since the primaries, there's been talk of an enthusiasm gap between the candidates, but the supporters gathered in this Las Vegas garage say they just show their enthusiasm in different ways. Linda Overbey painted murals on the wall of every Clinton campaign office she could get to.

LINDA OVERBEY: I've loved her ever since I heard the cookie thing, you know, where she said - she said, I didn't want to stay home and bake cookies. And then they humiliated her over it. And, you know, I didn't want to bake cookies either. You know, I wanted to hammer stuff.

KEITH: Overbey was a set builder in Hollywood before moving to Vegas and working as a painter. Over this past weekend, she and her husband knocked on 200 doors. Motivated by frustration with the FBI news, she also sent in another donation to the campaign, and she wasn't alone. The Clinton campaign says it raised $11.3 million in the 72 hours after the news broke.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Victory.

(CHEERING)

KEITH: At one point, the volunteers paused to take pictures. They're holding these big, brightly colored letters that spell out victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) No time for losers. We are the champions.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

KEITH: They're starting to entertain the idea that Clinton really will win, but with the photo taken, they all get back to working the phones. Tamara Keith, NPR News, Las Vegas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.