Nevada could flip red in the upcoming midterm elections and Democrats are bracing for a tight state’s Senate race with a toss-up that could potentially hand the Senate back to the GOP.
The Silver State has been roiled with political intrigue over a number of years and is viewed as a purple state currently. But as the race between Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Trump-endorsed Adam Laxalt (R), a former state attorney general, heats up, all bets are literally off. Laxalt could win this race and the Democrats are beginning to panic.
Cortez Masto has raised more money than Laxalt. Despite that advantage, the race is incredibly close – so close that the left is pulling all the stops out in the state to try and derail Laxalt who comes from a family with a long political history in Nevada.
In choosing Nevada to air its first television spot, the DSCC seems to be acknowledging Cortez Masto is in real trouble. Recent polling supports that fear. The senator is leading Laxalt by an average of 1.7 percentage points in three mid-August surveys according to RealClearPolitics.
“This is the most important race on the map for Republicans or Democrats,” one GOP strategist familiar with Nevada politics commented to The Hill. “in Laxalt, you’ve got a candidate who can carry the change message very clearly, unify all clans in the Republican Party and is running a good race.”
Abortion may be a factor in the state, but a bigger one is inflation. Nevadans are having trouble putting food on the table and gas in their tanks and that may decide the race. As a swing state, Nevada could upend the Democrats’ political stranglehold in DC and they are well aware of that fact.
“Democrats have shown that they have the ability to get out the vote and win close races in Nevada,” one Democratic operative asserted. “The Cortez Masto campaign and Nevada Democrats are prepared for what they have to do this fall in order to be successful.”
In recent weeks, Democrats have grown hopeful that they won’t get shellacked as badly as most experts had predicted. But the proof is in the vote and in Nevada, a strong independent streak runs among voters. Right now, that streak is apparently tilting to the right. Nevada is the ultimate wild card and according to GOP strategist Colin Reed, “one of the best pick-up opportunities for Republicans.”
The Democrats’ Senate campaign arm launched a new ad Tuesday as part of a $33 million spending campaign. It takes aim at Laxalt over abortion.
(Video Credit: DemSenClips)
Laxalt campaign spokesperson Brian Freimuth called the ad “dishonest” and “wildly inaccurate.”
The GOP candidate does not back a national ban on abortion and noted in a response following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade that “the people of Nevada have already voted to make abortion rights legal in our state.”
The Democrats’ Senate campaign arm is attempting to tie Laxalt to both former President Trump and those that support overturning Roe vs. Wade.
“Laxalt has been the biggest cheerleader in Nevada for Donald Trump’s Big Lie and his political career has been defined by his opposition to a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” Patrick Burgwinkle, who is a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, stated. “He’s totally out of touch with Nevadans, and it’s why they’ll reject him in November.”
Laxalt’s campaign is going after the economy and inflation. Freimuth called Cortez Masto a “disaster for our economy” in a statement.
(Video Credit: Senate Leadership Fund)
“Her rubber-stamp support for Biden’s big spending proposals saddled our state with 15.4% inflation, costing each Nevada family $10,000 this year. This is making day-to-day life unaffordable for Nevadans and they’re enthusiastic about an opportunity for a new direction,” Freimuth charged.
Democrats have taken a huge hit in the state by losing the support of many Hispanics who are typically more concerned with the economy than abortion.
Data from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund indicates that approximately 20 percent of Latinos in Nevada are expected to vote in November. Despite being courted by the left, the Latino vote tends to be conservative.
Cortez Masto slightly leads Laxalt and the Latino vote may be critical when it comes to her winning or not. An AARP-commissioned poll shows Cortez Masto leading by 11 points among Hispanic voters but her lead drops to 9 percent among Hispanic voters that are over 50 years old.
“The NRSC has invested early and often in battleground states across the country, including Nevada where we are seeing historic voter registration movement toward Republicans. Additionally, the NRSC has put unprecedented resources behind Hispanic outreach through our Operación ¡Vamos! initiative which is already paying dividends,” T.W. Arrighi, who is the press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), told The Hill.
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