Senator Catherine Cortez Masto took over a Senate seat in Nevada that used to belong to the late Harry Reid. Reid, who commanded a lot of influence in the state, was a force to be reckoned with. But, ahead of the 2022 midterms, Reid’s former seat could land in the hand of Republicans.
Adam Laxalt is the Republican challenger in the race against Cortez Masto, and despite her incumbency, she has not been able to escape the margin of error in all the recent polling. There are signs, even, that Cortez Masto is looking to rally her own forces and try to squeak by in November. Given that the polling data showing advantages for Democrats might be a mirage, according to the New York Times, the polling may actually be worse news for the incumbent Democrat than she might think.
NEW: Sen. Cortez Masto in real trouble of losing her seat in Nevada to Republican Adam Laxalt.
After months of significantly outspending Laxalt, the two remain within the margin of error.
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) September 12, 2022
NBC News is reporting that Laxalt’s strategy – focusing on economic pain more than any other issue – may be working, and that Cortez Masto might very well be on the ropes.
Cortez Masto may be the most endangered Democratic incumbent in this cycle, even though her party hasn’t lost a Senate race here in a decade. While Democrats still project confidence, polls show a dead heat despite massive spending by Cortez Masto and an early assault of negative ads designed to tarnish rival Adam Laxalt.
“This is definitely our best opportunity at any point in the last 14 years,” said Jeremy Hughes, a Republican consultant who has worked on many Nevada races.
Hughes cited GOP gains in voter registration, a trend of Hispanic voters drifting away from Democrats and rising prices of gas and food as the key forces propelling Republicans.
And… yeah. The Hispanic trend away from the Democrats is something we’ve been tracking a lot here at RedState, but the economic pain hitting every voter could well be the bigger threat, and one that Laxalt is taking advantage of.
In a fit of desperation, Cortez Masto started verbally attacking crisis pregnancy centers in the usual disgusting smear, which is a sign that she is having to rally her own troops rather than try to whittle away support from her GOP opponent.
As NBC News puts it, though, the economy is the issue of the moment for working class Americans.
No issue permeates this working class state like the economy, according to polling and interviews with stakeholders in both parties. Covid lockdowns had an outsized effect in this state, which relies heavily on service industry workers. While the economy is rebounding, working class voters are still hurting — the cost of housing remains high and employees complain of low wages. A recent bipartisan survey found that three-quarters of Nevada voters say the country is “headed in the wrong direction” and 65% are “very or somewhat worried” about their own financial situation.
“People are getting hammered with inflation and the cost of gas and food and housing,” said Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the influential Culinary Union, which represents some 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno — 60% of whom are Latino — working in the state’s service industry, including in casinos.
It’s telling that the media – between this NBC News piece and the Times piece referenced earlier – is throwing up warning flags for Democrats. Given that Democrats have been touting positive polling and various successes in Washington D.C., it appears that their pet issues are simply being drowned out by what is at best economic confusion. These are the issues that resonate most with voters because they are so close to home.
Control of the House of Representatives may be a forgone conclusion, but the Senate has been a toss-up from the start. First, the GOP was heavily-favored, then the Democrats seemed to be regaining their composure. But now, the warning signs are there, and it could mean we’re back to beyond red wave territory.