Polls indicate that Republicans in Nevada have a decent chance of winning numerous midterm elections in a state where high prices on everything from fuel to rent are pulling voters away from Democrats.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s poll averages, the state’s top Democrats, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Gov. Steve Sisolak are almost deadlocked with their respective Republican candidates, Adam Laxalt and Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo. Multiple recent state surveys indicate that the two Republicans have narrow leads in the single digits, and strategists from both parties believe Ms. Cortez Masto to be the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in the 50-50 Senate.
Reps. Dina Titus and Susie Lee are in contests assessed as toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report during Rep. Steven Horsford is in a campaign categorized as leaning Democratic. The fourth seat in the state’s House is the only one now held by a Republican.
When Republican dominance of Nevada has been waning due to the surge of Latinos and other new entrants with greater Democratic registrations, toppling any or all of these Democrats would contribute to the state’s redistricting. The Democrats have won Nevada in each of the last four presidential elections.
Polls and conversations with people reveal that economic concerns, particularly among working-class and Latino voters, are driving the potential move toward the GOP.
According to polls, 76% of Nevada voters, according to a mid-October CBS News/YouGov poll, said increased costs were “a strain” or “difficult,” and 84% said rising gas prices had a significant impact on their families.
Nevada has qualities that make the issue of inflation more pertinent. AAA reports that as of October 25, the average price of gasoline in Nevada was $5.04 a gallon, compared to the national average of $3.78 per gallon. According to a poll by HelpAdvisor in August, rentals increased by more than $250 per month for 28% of renters in Nevada over the last year, the second most significant increase in the United States behind Florida.
The state of Nevada is rapidly growing, with three-quarters of its 3 million citizens living in metropolitan Las Vegas, many working in service occupations connected to the tourist sector.
Because working-class Nevadans often have smaller earnings and the lowest buffer to absorb rising costs, they bear the brunt of high inflation. According to Census Bureau data, some 72% of Nevadans haven’t obtained a college degree, compared with 65% nationally.
Nevada’s gasoline, food, and housing prices have been a significant point of contention for Republicans. Republicans have spent $9.4 million on inflation-focused commercials in the Senate campaign between the June primary through October 25, according to statistics from AdImpact, compared to $1.4 million spent by Democrats.
Instead, Democrats have concentrated on asserting that corporate greed is primarily responsible for inflation. As with Mr. Horsford’s advertisements, theirs accuse energy firms of price gouging and blame high housing and rental costs on “corporate speculators driving up prices.”
According to analysts, it may be difficult for Democrats to convince additional people of this message. William Galston, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution, stated in a high inflationary climate, the party that is in the majority and controls policy, particularly with a like-minded president in the Oval Office, will receive the blame for unsatisfactory results.
Nevada Democrats have a second difficulty: The combination of Latinos and other Democratic communities that helped win elections in the past is not as cohesive as it once was. Latino support for Democrats in Nevada decreased to 60% in 2020 from 67% in 2018, according to data analytics firm Catalist, and Latinos make up over a quarter of Nevada’s eligible voters.
Democrats’ key aim is to employ the same ground game that helped them sweep statewide elections in the 2018 midterms. That will be more of a problem this year, given that the registration edge Democrats have enjoyed over Republicans has dropped from 5.8% to 3.7%, according to state data.
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 intends to knock on more than one million doors this year, up from 650,000 in 2020, to urge people to vote for Democrats. According to Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the 60,000-member local, this will encompass more than half of all Latino and Black voter households in the state and more than one-third of Asians.
Democrats use increasing rents as one of their most prominent talking points.
Jeremy Hughes, a Republican political strategist in Washington, D.C., who is assisting Nevada campaigns, stated that the GOP has to sway a few Democratic votes to win. Mr. Hughes said moving the needle four or five points in the Black, Latino, and Asian populations would provide enormous returns for Republicans and help us establish a broad-based coalition for future elections.