Thousands Line Up for Palin's Rally in Reno

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Thousands of people were lined up in the cold outside the Reno Livestock Events Center to hear a speech by Sara Palin.

The Republican vice presidential candidate is nearing the end of an election eve dash across five contested states. Her last two stops are in Reno where she is scheduled to speak at about 8:30 tonight and then again around 10 o'clock in rural northeast Nevada at the Elko High School.

A pair of bull riders on the professional rodeo circuit are joining the Alaska governor at the Reno rally.

Nevada is the westernmost state considered potentially still in play for the Republican ticket.

Earlier in the day, Palin pepped up a huge rally in conservative central Missouri, her third trip there in 10 days. Polls there show Republican presidential candidate John McCain is about even with Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Palin also had campaign stops today in Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

She drew a crowd estimated by state police at more than 17,000 to the steps of the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. She strode down the Capitol steps in blue jeans, clapped in the background to country music singer Hank Williams Jr. and exited as "Redneck Woman" played over loudspeakers dangling from cranes.

The theme is continuing in Reno where Palin is being joined by pro bull riders Justin McBride of Elk City, Okla., and Travis Briscoe of Edgewood, N.M. They took a break from the PRB World Finals in Las Vegas today to fly to the rally at the site of the annual Reno Rodeo where they've already spent some time this evening signing autographs.

A four-piece band in cowboy hats has been playing country western tunes. They also played Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama," but changed the lyrics by substituting Palin's home state for Alabama.

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