Vulnerable Nevada Senator Cortez Masto Faces $2 Million Spanish Language Ad Blitz

(AP Photo/Kevin Clifford, File)

Nevada Senator Cathrine Cortez Masto (D) is facing a $2 million Spanish language ad campaign opposing her re-election bid. The ads will appear on TV and radio and will be the largest Hispanic media investment among all the US Senate races. The ads, paid for by the Club for Growth Action Super PAC, criticize Masto for being soft on crime and for being tied to the Defund the Police movement. 


Masto is considered the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate and the nation has eyes on Nevada as Senate races tighten in other states like Pennsylvania and Georgia. Nevada is still a toss-up by all accounts, with Adam Laxalt (R) leading the race in recent polling. 

Masto’s opponent, Laxalt, has recently called on her to denounce the nomination of Gigi Sohn, a Presient Joe Biden pick for the FCC, based on a history of anti-police rhetoric from Sohn. Eleven law enforcement groups that endorsed Masto in her last election have supported Laxalt in his campaign to outst her from the Senate, while Masto snagged a state police union endorsment in recent days.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

The Latino vote is highly competitive and significant in Nevada, accounting for about 20% of the voters. Masto is the first Latina to be elected to the Senate and she leans into that in some of her campaign messaging. Somos PAC has also spent millions targeting Latino voters in support of Masto. Just this week Somos launched a 1.4 million dollar digital ad campaign targeting the Latino business community. A Somos representative has expressed concern that Latinos will have low voter turnout, a scenario NBC News reported as a “nightmare” for the group, with implications reaching to Nevada’s 2024 attempt to be the first state in the nation to vote. Equis Research found that carrying two-thirds of the Latino vote is needed for Democrats to win the Senate. 


But, the Democrats have been losing their grip on the Hispanic vote. An AARP poll published last month found that Latino voter support for both the incumbent NV Governor Sisoalk (D) and Sen Masto had dropped by over 50% from prior elections, while still showing overall favorability among the demographic. Additionally, the polling indicated that the concerns of the Latino community were focused on the economy over social issues like abortion. 

By the time the primary elections were held in mid-June, Masto’s campaign and aligned Democrat groups like Somos PAC had already spent $2.7 million on Spanish language ads while Republicans spent under $200,000. Since the primary Democrats have spent $4.6 million on Spanish language ads, about 12 percent of their ad budget to Republicans’ $1 million or just 3% of the ad budget.

Along with advertising, large canvassing and calling efforts have been made on both sides of the aisle. The Culinary Union is leading the charge with 300 full-time canvassers across the state, to be expanded to 500 by Election Day. The NV GOP and National Republican Senatorial Committee have launched Operation Vamos, which also boasts a competitive ground game.


Laxalt is supported by former President Donald Trump who will be appearing at a rally with him and other GOP candidates in Minden, Nevada on October 8. 


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