President Trump on Sunday will campaign in the crucial battleground of Nevada, a state where Joseph R. Biden Jr. maintains a steady lead in the polls and that Mr. Trump hopes to flip from its 2016 results.
For the past decade, Democrats in Nevada have notched one hard-fought victory after another. In 2010, Senator Harry Reid won his hotly contested re-election campaign, even as the party lost other battles all over the country. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the state, though with a smaller margin of victory than Democrats garnered in the previous two presidential contests. And in 2018, the Democrats managed to capture the governor’s office and the State Senate.
According to a recent Times/Siena College poll, Mr. Biden leads Mr. Trump 48 percent to 42 percent, with six percent of the state’s voters saying they remain undecided. When The Times polled Nevada last month, Mr. Biden held a four-point lead.
Voters in Nevada said, by a 10-point margin, that they trusted Mr. Biden more than the president to handle the pandemic.
The poll was taken after Mr. Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, and most of the survey took place before Mr. Trump returned to the White House on Oct. 5 from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he had been receiving treatment. The results show the extent to which voters’ views on the coronavirus crisis and Mr. Trump’s management of it continue to hang over the election.
The margin of error for both polls is 4.3 percentage points.
Mr. Trump traveled to two other battleground states on Saturday, campaigning in Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which he won narrowly in 2016, as he sought to defend his coalition amid polls that show Mr. Biden ahead in the final stretch of the race.
At a rally in Muskegon, Mich., Mr. Trump ripped into familiar liberal foils, as his supporters chanted “lock her up,” in reference to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who was the target of a kidnapping plot by antigovernment extremists, according to the F.B.I.
“The schools have to be open, right?” Mr. Trump said. “Lock them all up.”
Ms. Whitmer, responding on Twitter, said, “This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials’ lives in danger.”
Mr. Biden did not hold any events on Saturday, but planned to campaign in North Carolina on Sunday, as his aides warned against complacency.
In a version of a memo that was to be sent to supporters, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, stressed that polls can be faulty or imprecise — as they were in 2016 — and warned of only narrow advantages in key states.
“This race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest,” she wrote. “In the key battleground states where this election will be decided, we remain neck and neck with Donald Trump.”
That message appeared designed to keep Democratic supporters engaged in the last days of the race despite national attention on Mr. Trump’s…