When Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and others take the stage tonight in Las Vegas, they’ll be doing so at a casino owned by someone who is unlikely to ever vote for any of them.
The debate will be held at the Wynn Las Vegas, owned by magnate Steve Wynn. Though Wynn has in the past identified himself as a Democrat and supported Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, in recent years his presidential support has shifted decidedly into the Republican camp, notes the Las Vegas Sun.
For his part, Wynn has this to say about hosting the Democrats, according to the Sun:
The staff of Wynn resorts is comprised of more than 25,000 employees and their families. Ours is a team of great diversity representing every race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and political philosophy.
To have the privilege of being intimately involved in the American political process by hosting this debate is a moment of great pride and excitement for all of us.
Why, though, would the Democrats decide to host their debate at the property of someone likely to oppose them? First off, Wynn is hardly the most conservative casino tycoon is Las Vegas — that title almost certainly belongs to Sheldon Adelson. Second, the Democrats likely just want to get press exposure in Nevada. Nevada may only be worth six electoral votes, but it is a relatively early primary state and could still prove crucial.
The Republicans made a similar choice in August, hosting their first debate in Cleveland. The Republican nominee will almost certainly have to win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes to have a chance in a general election.
The Democrats have debates planned in Florida and Wisconsin, both crucial swing states, early next year. The Republicans have scheduled events in Colorado, Wisconsin and Nevada.