RENO, Nev. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is appealing to Nevada voters to get to the polls as soon as early voting begins to help make sure President Barack Obama carries the swing state again.
"If we win Nevada, we will win this election," Biden told about 500 people in a ballroom at a Reno convention center. He who delivered a similar message to voters in Greeley, Colo., earlier Wednesday.
Early voting begins Saturday in Nevada and is under way in Colorado.
The vice president said Republican candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, continue to spread doom and gloom about the economy despite signs of recovery.
"I've never seen two candidates more negative about the economy," Biden said. "I don't recognize the country they are talking about."
Four years ago, Obama became the first Democrat to carry Reno's GOP-leaning Washoe County since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. His campaign is counting on a similar effort — combined with strong turnout in the heavily Democratic Las Vegas area — to offset the rest of the state that is largely rural and staunchly GOP.
"Nevada has the potential to swing this election," Dana Galvin, president of the Washoe Education Association, said as the crowd chanted "four more years" and "Joe, Joe, Joe" before Biden began his speech. "There is too much on the line not to make your voice heard."
Biden said Romney wants to return to the same failed GOP policies in place under President George W. Bush.
"We've seen this movie before — shred regulations, let Wall Street have its way, let banks right their own rules, massive tax cuts — unpaid for — for the wealthy," Biden said. "The last time this happened, the middle class was crushed. Nine million jobs were lost, almost all of them through no fault of their own."
Nevada remains near the top of the nation in terms of foreclosures and unemployment but has seen those numbers improve in recent months. "No state suffered more than yours as a consequence," Biden said.