There’s a saying about Nevada: all roads lead here. 

Pick almost any news event, from Tupac Shakur to Patty Hearst, Heaven’s Gate, the NFL, various national political scandals—in all of those, there’s almost always a Nevada connection. 

It’s part of the reason people outside the state are so intrigued. 

And it’s no different today.  

Political focus on Nevada is heavy this fall -- the president just visited Thursday.  

The anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history is days away.  

At the same time, there’s worry that the housing boom and fast growth in Las Vegas and Reno are signs of another bubble. 

So NPR's Weekend Edition is here this week taking a look. 

The show is broadcasting from our Las Vegas studios Sunday. 

"This is an important place," Weekend Edition Sunday host Lulu Garcia-Navarro told KNPR's State of Nevada.

She pointed to President Trump's visit Thursday night and former first lady Michelle Obama's planned visit on Sunday as examples of how important the whole state is politically right now.

"This is a state that Hillary Clinton won and Sen. Dean Heller -- a Republican -- is up for re-election, and the Senate is in play, and so all eyes are here," Garcia-Navarro said.

Support comes from

She attended the president's rally Thursday night at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It was her first Trump rally. She talked to several people about Sen. Heller, and many were not big fans because he has not always supported the president.

But they told her they would vote for Heller in November because he was on the president's side now.

Garcia-Navarro actually saw Sen. Heller on a flight to Las Vegas and tried to ask him some questions but he politely declined to talk to her; however, he did promise to speak to NPR when they got to Las Vegas.

The Weekend Edition host also went to a rally held by the Culinary Union. She said it was a loud get-out-the-vote gathering. Heller's opponent in November, Jacky Rosen, was there.

"We don't see unions having the outsized influence that they do in this particular city because of the Culinary Workers Union, and because of their relationship with the hotel industry here," she said.

Garcia-Navarro said besides its influence, the Union is important for many Latino voters. In many places, Latino voters aren't engaged because they often believe the Democrats only engage with them when they need votes.

The Union is different. It is part of people's lives all the time, she said.

When she talked with Latino voters, immigration was not the top issue for most people. Most people mentioned health care and wages before immigration.

"People are tough to categorize," she said. "I think the mistake we make as journalists and as pollsters and as commentators is to lump people in groups and say, 'this is is what this group wants and this is what this group thinks.'"

For this weekend's edition of Weekend Edition, Garcia-Navarro said they'll try to steer away from lumping Las Vegas into the cliches that often follow the city.

"It is presented in the media a certain way," she said. "It is presented in Hollywood and entertainment in a certain way but all the people who work and live here, who they are, what do they want, what does that say about the city, the state and the country is what I find really fascinating," she said.


Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host, NPR's Weekend Edition

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