Cortez Masto Reelected Nevada Senator, Winning Key Seat for Democrats
Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory gives Democrats control of the Senate.
Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto was reelected Nevada senator on Tuesday in a tight race against MAGA Republican Adam Laxalt, according to a projection from NBC News.
Cortez Masto leads Laxalt 48.7 percent to 48.2 percent, with 96 percent reporting.
With Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada, Democrats will have 50 seats and maintain control in the Senate, as Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote.
Nevada is a swing state that went for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and Joe Biden in 2020. But analysts have been warning for weeks that Democrats have taken the state’s Latino vote for granted and risked losing the crucial demographic during the midterms.
Cortez Masto, who in 2016 became the first Latina elected to Senate, specifically targeted Latina voters during her campaign. She focused on issues such as abortion access, affordable housing, and childcare.
She also sought to reach out to Latino small-business owners, to ensure they did not feel forgotten by Washington lawmakers.
Laxalt, however, was confident that he could draw the Latino vote away from the Democrats.
A descendant of Washington institution Republicans—his grandfather was once called Ronald Reagan’s “first friend”—Laxalt has veered sharply right from his family tree.
A former Nevada attorney general, Laxalt co-chaired Donald Trump’s campaign in the state and is now positioned to take up the former president’s ideological mantle.
He has complained against “wokeness” and pushed multiple conspiracy theories, including the Big Lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. After announcing his Senate campaign in late 2021, Laxalt pushed for an audit of the 2020 results in Douglas County, a rural county in Nevada’s northwest.
In October, 14 of his relatives endorsed Cortez Masto, though Laxalt pointed out that most of them were already registered Democrats.
This article has been updated.