Democrats Concerned About Nevada Elections After Latino Voters Swing Toward GOP

Democrats are increasingly concerned over statewide races in Nevada as Latino voters in the state shift to the right, The Washington Post reports.

Democrats are particularly nervous about Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s race against former Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

Cortez Masto, a Latino lawmaker who narrowly won her first race, is fighting to keep the Senate under Democratic control.

Polls show Cortez Masto effectively tied with Laxalt with just two weeks to go until the election.

Cortez Masto campaign launched Spanish-language ads in March and her campaign has spent more than $3 million on Spanish-language TV, radio and digital ads.

Laxalt campaign officials said they began assembling a coalition of Latino supporters even before the Republican primary.

Laxalt’s campaign has invested over $1 million into Spanish-language ads.

Governor’s race:

Democrats are also concerned whether Gov. Steve Sisolak can fend off Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff.

Sisolak defeated Laxalt in 2018 by about four points but he is currently effectively deadlocked with Lombardo in the polls.

Sisolak’s decline mirrors that of Democrats around the state.

Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump among Nevada Latino voters by 31 points but President Joe Biden’s margin of victory over Trump shrank to 26 points.

With the economy weighing down Democrats’ approval ratings, Democrats are increasingly nervous days out from the election.

Latino shift:

Democrats won about two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2018 but that margin appears unlikely to repeat.

More than 10 congressional districts saw Trump’s share of the Latino vote grow by more than 5% from 2016 to 2020, particularly in Florida, Texas, and California.

“I think this is really part of a long arc of Hispanics kind of following in the footsteps of other immigrant groups that we’ve seen in the past,” Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini told the Post. “Over generations, they start blending in.”

“I think that there is this idea in many Democratic circles about how demography is destiny and demographic change is going to produce this electoral dividend,” added David Leal, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. “It’s becoming a little more clear that this story is much more complicated than that.”


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