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Las Vegas Looking To Host Presidential Debate

Thomas & Mack Center
"Thomas&MackCenterAndCoxPavilion". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikipedia -

Las Vegas is throwing its hat in the ring to host a presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center in 2016. 

Las Vegas has never hosted a general election presidential or vice presidential debate -- much less a major party's nominating convention -- but if UNLV and the LVCVA have their way, the area will in 2016.

On April 1, the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is the nonpartisan group charged with managing and preparing each general election's presidential debates, announced a list of 16 candidate cities vying for one of 2016's three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.

If selected, Las Vegas would hold its debate at the Thomas & Mack Center.

According to Dylan Byers, who covers media for POLITICO, it's strange Las Vegas has never hosted one of the debates.

"It seems to me to be a very convenient place to meet, just in terms of logisitics, for people to sort of fly into," he told KNPR's State of Nevada. "And of course, whenever a city or a college or a site hosts one of these debates, logistics is actually the number one consideration that's taken into account -- far more than geography or anything like that. I'm actually surprised that Las Vegas hasn't hosted one."

Byers also said Nevada's increasing importance to the electoral calculus in presidential elections makes it a logical choice to host a debate. 

"Certainly Nevada has become a very important state on the electoral map," he said.

When stacked against the other candidates -- some of which, like Washington University in St. Louis, have hosted multiple debates -- Byers is bullish on the area's chances.

"I'm thinking Nevada has as good a shot as anyone," he said. 

Dylan Byers, journalist, POLITICO

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Casey Morell is the coordinating producer of Nevada Public Radio's flagship broadcast State of Nevada and one of the station's midday newscast announcers. (He's also been interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, whatever that's worth.)