Why Is Nevada a Swing State?
There are a few states that could decide which party will control Congress this year. Among them is Nevada, where Democratic U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak are facing challenging Republican opponents.
Our co-host A Martinez is visiting voters at a north Las Vegas early voting site. She talks to them about what makes the state a battleground.
It’s a battleground state
Despite its reputation as a safe blue state, Nevada is actually still a battleground. The term “battleground state” is used to describe states that are closely divided between Democrats and Republicans and can go either way in a presidential election. The terms red state and purple state are also often used to describe these states.
This has been true for a long time, but recently, the balance has tilted toward the Republican side. This is due to a number of factors, including lower Democratic turnout in rural and blue-collar areas. In addition, white voters without a college degree have shifted in favor of the GOP.
The results of this shift have been evident in the recent elections, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto won the U.S Senate race by a narrow margin over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. This has led many to question whether the state will continue to be a battleground state in 2022.
It’s a Democratic stronghold
In a year that looks to be bad for Democrats nationally, the state’s incumbents like Cortez Masto and Sisolak are in danger. That’s especially true for the Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation, who are likely to face tough challenges from Republicans with an eye on picking up seats and regaining control of the House.
The reason why is simple: Despite Nevada’s liberal reputation, it is still a true swing state. This is largely because of regional voting, where Democratic margins in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, can offset GOP strength in Washoe County, and the 15 rural counties known as the Rurals.
But voters in both regions can also be influenced by candidates’ national political affiliations, as well as their local policies and personalities. For example, voters in the Rurals are unlikely to support candidates who push election denialism or who equivocate on abortion rights. That’s why it’s important for Democrats to continue to emphasize their progressive values, as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a battleground for Hispanic voters
Nevada is a purple state that has been moving more Democratic over time. In the last couple of elections, Democratic presidential candidates have won the state by more than 2 points. Despite this, Republicans are making inroads in the state. This is especially true among Hispanic voters.
The state’s Hispanic population has been growing fast. This has made Nevada a battleground state for Hispanic voters. In the upcoming midterm election, Republicans are hoping to gain control of the Senate. But it’s not going to be easy.
In fact, a number of Democratic incumbents are facing tough challenges. One of them is Catherine Cortez Masto, who is running against former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt. She’s a target of Trump’s and could be in trouble if the state goes red this year. Our co-host, A Martinez, recently traveled to the state to speak with voters about their views on politics. She met with people at a community center in a North Las Vegas neighborhood.
It’s a battleground for independent voters
The state’s booming economy has led to large population increases in its major metropolitan areas. This demographic shift has changed the political landscape, making Nevada a swing state. It is a place where candidates can win or lose based on their appeal to independent voters.
The zealous election denial movement has become an issue in Nevada, and the state’s Republican governor has struggled to contain it. He has vetoed legislation that clarifies restrictions on challenges and allows preprocessing of early ballots to ensure timely results. He has also signed critical legislation that protects election workers.
Cortez Matso and Sisolak are both vulnerable in a year that appears to be bad for Democrats nationwide. In addition, the Democrats’ own redistricting process may have left them in jeopardy. The new districts have a higher percentage of Republicans and White voters without a college degree. These are voters who tend to vote for the GOP in other states.