Nevada’s US Senate race too early to call

RENO, Nevada (AP) — The tight race between Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt remains too early to call after voting closed in Nevada on Tuesday night.

Laxalt and Cortes Masto have been locked in a heated race for weeks, with both hitting national partisan talking points: Laxalt blames inflation and illegal immigration on Democratic politics, and Cortes Masto has vowed to block efforts by the GOP to ban abortion nationwide. and fight for permanent citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.

Hours after polls closed, both candidates told supporters they expected to be out before the election.

“Our positive energy got us here today and our positive energy will continue this week,” said Cortes Masto from a Democratic viewing party on the Las Vegas Strip. “We’re going to get it done.”

Laxalt shared similar sentiments with Republicans gathered at another Las Vegas casino.

“We are exactly where we want to be in this tournament. We have a lot of votes across the state right now,” Laxalt said. “We’re going to win this race.”

Voters in some parts of the state braved long queues, bad weather and technical difficulties to cast their ballots. Around 7:15 p.m., Cortes Masto and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed an emergency request with a Nevada judge to keep some polling places in Clark County open for an additional two hours. Attorneys for the DSCC pointed to printing problems that they said prevented some people from voting.

But Clark County District Judge Gloria Sturman in Las Vegas denied the request. Polling stations remained open for people who were in line until 19:00

The outcome of the Senate race between Laxalt and Cortes Masto could signal the strength of the Democratic Party. focus on abortion against the economic woes often cited by the GOP.

Nearly three-quarters of Nevada voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast poll of nearly 2,200 voters in the state.

The economy was on the minds of many Nevada voters, with nearly 5 in 10 naming it the nation’s most important issue. Immigration, abortion, crime and climate change followed closely behind, with nearly 1 in 10 voters naming each of those issues.

Voters also had a negative view of the economy, with nearly 8 in 10 saying economic conditions are not so good or bad. Only about 2 in 10 say the economy is excellent or good. And nearly a third of voters say their family is struggling financially.

According to the survey, nearly 5 in 10 respondents named inflation as the most important factor in deciding how to vote. But Nevada voters were evenly split on whether they think inflation is due to President Joe Biden’s policies or factors beyond his control.

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.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized the constitutional right to abortion, also played a role in most voters’ decisions, with nearly 8 in 10 citing it as a factor in their vote. About a quarter of them call it the most important factor in their vote.

A majority of Nevada voters also support abortion rights, with nearly 7 in 10 saying it should be legal in all or most cases, according to the poll.

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 spread 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 from a Republican political action committee repeated unsubstantiated claims from the previous campaign to falsely appear that Cortez 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.

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