Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won Nevada’s second term election on Saturday, defeating Republican Adam Laxalt for control of the party’s lower house for the next two years. followed during the presidency of Joe Biden.
With Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s victory in Arizona on Friday, Democrats currently hold a 50-49 advantage in the Senate. The party will retain control of the chamber, regardless of how next month’s Georgia primaries play out, thanks to a decisive vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Democrats’ hold of the Senate is a blow to Republicans’ high hopes for control of Congress in a midterm election that typically favors the losing party. It remains unclear which party will control the House as vote counting continues in close races in California and several other states.
Cortez Masto, the first Latino in the Senate, is considered the most vulnerable Democratic senator in the midterm elections, and Republicans have high hopes of toppling the seat. But despite an influx of spending on offensive ads from national GOP groups, Cortez Masto managed to secure his reelection bid.
Nevada’s vote counting took several days in part because a vote-by-mail system created by the State Legislature in 2020 requires counties to accept postmarked ballots by Election Day if they arrive late. more than four days. Laxalt had an early lead but shrank after late counted ballots came from the state’s population centers in Las Vegas and Reno.
Cortez Masto, a two-term former state attorney general, has focused his Senate campaign on the growing threat to access to abortion nationwide and working to appeal to residents. state’s Spanish-speaking population and hourly wage earners, pointing to her support for the path to permanent citizenship for the “Dreamers” and frequent visits to the halls unions and workers’ groups.
Her fundraising far exceeds Laxalt’s. She has spent nearly $47 million and has more than $6 million in cash through mid-October, according to OpenSecrets. Laxalt spent nearly $13 million and had about $3 million left over the same period.
Laxalt, the former Nevada attorney general who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018, has focused on rising inflation and the struggling economy for much of his campaign, trying to clear tie voters’ financial hardships to policies introduced by Democrats in Congress and Biden.
Former President Donald Trump, who twice lost to Nevada in the races for the White House, traveled to the state twice to campaign for Laxalt and other Republican candidates.
Democrats have had an uphill battle due to the nation’s turbulent economy, and Nevada is a prime example of the party’s challenges. The state is one of the most diverse in the country, and much of the state’s working-class population typically lives on wages and has struggled with both inflation and the aftershocks of the shutdown of the economy. into Las Vegas tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About three-quarters of Nevada voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction, and about five in 10 call the economy the most important issue facing the country, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of 2,100 California voters. state.
Voters view the economy negatively, with VoteCast finding nearly eight in 10 saying economic conditions are not very good or poor. Only about 2 out of 10 people are called excellent or good economy. And about a third of voters said their families were falling behind financially.
But that doesn’t necessarily translate to anger toward President Joe Biden or his party. About half see inflation as the most important issue facing the United States, but they are evenly divided on whether they attribute the higher prices to Biden’s policies or factors beyond their control. his control.
Nevada is also a state known to live and to live, and Cortez Masto’s message about defending abortion rights resonated. According to VoteCast, 7 out of 10 people want the procedure to be kept legal in all or most of the cases.