Nevada’s US Senate candidates are in a neck-and-neck race

(AP) – For a swing state, Nevada polls show little movement. Democratic U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt have been locked in a neck-and-neck race for weeks.

Both hit national partisan talking points, with Laxalt blaming inflation and illegal immigration on Democratic politics, and Cortes Masto vowing to block GOP efforts to ban abortion nationwide and to find a path to permanent citizenship for undocumented immigrants. who came, fights. to the country as children.

But these issues are not necessarily clear wins. As voters head to the polls on Tuesday, a nail-biting race could come down to nuance.

The economic problems can be greater than abortion it causes concern for many residents. Voters put abortion rights into state law more than 30 years ago, and the state’s hospitality- and entertainment-dominated economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as other sectors after being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this means that high gas and grocery prices could blunt the impact of Cortez Masto’s reproductive rights messaging.

Abortion is legal in Nevada, but Cortes Masto said he would use his seat to block any effort in the Senate to advance a statewide abortion ban. Laxalt said abortion policy decisions should be left up to the states, but also expressed support for a referendum limiting abortions after 13 weeks.

Some voters in suburban areas may be turned away Laxalt’s close ties to former President Donald Trump. Laxalt co-chaired Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign in Nevada and later promoted and promoted falsehoods about the election. Courtney Holland, director of communications for Laxalt, attended the “Stop the Stealing” rally in Washington on Jan. 6 and was photographed with members of the militant group “Oath Takers,” including some who were later charged with crimes related to the insurgency. Holland said he pulled out of the event when he saw the rally getting worse.

Both candidates are trying hard to win votes from Nevada’s Spanish-speaking community. Latinos, who make up nearly four in 10 residents, may be buoyed by Cortes Masto’s promises to find a path to permanent citizenship for “Dreamers” as they are frustrated by high gas and grocery prices driven by inflation. have been The election could become a case study of the Republican Party’s progress with the Hispanic community.

Laxalt has said he will work to complete a “wall” on the southern border and favors a return to the “stay in Mexico” policy adopted by the Trump administration that turned asylum seekers back across the Mexican border. He was waiting for the decision of the US immigration authorities.

Cortes Masto has spent a lot of time searching for the state’s hourly workers, aided by door-to-door advertising efforts by the powerful Culinary Union, whose roughly 70,000 members include bartenders, porters and housekeepers.

Both sides also flirted with misinformation along the way. Cortez Masto’s ad, aimed at a Hispanic audience, took Laxalt’s words out of context, suggesting he was lucky some small businesses never recovered after the pandemic. But a look at his full statement shows that Laxalt said he believes it’s good news that people are blaming Democratic leaders and politicians for the impact of some of the pandemic’s policies.

An Adam Laxalt ad falsely claims that Cortez Masto “didn’t say a word” when he was shot in the head by a local law enforcement officer during the George Floyd riots. In fact, she condemned the violence on her social media account, calling it “tragic”. Another ad by a Republican political committee repeated unsubstantiated claims from a previous campaign to falsely appear that Cortes Masto “supported the release of drunk drivers.”

The candidates are each from powerful political families. Laxalt’s grandfather was former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt, and his father was former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico. Still 14 members Laxalt’s extended family endorsed Cortez Mastopraised “Nevada grit” in a public statement that did not mention Laxalt by name.

Cortes Masto’s father, Manny Cortes, served as a member of the Clark County Commission and was a longtime executive of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, a government tourism agency led by a board of private resort industry members and local government officials.

Cortez Masto was Nevada’s attorney general from 2007 to 2015, before becoming the first Latina elected to the US Senate in 2016. Laxalt served as the state’s attorney general from 2015 to 2019 and successfully ran for governor in 2018.


Associated Press writers Sam Metz in Salt Lake City, Ali Swenson in New York and Count Massara in San Francisco contributed.

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