In the latest poll conducted by the NSRC, 46 percent of registered voters said they would vote for Nevada’s former Attorney General, Republican Adam Laxalt for Senate, and 42 percent favored Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. This polling is consistent with the Nevada Senate race’s shift from lean Democrat to toss up published by Cook’s Political Report.
Additionally, the poll shows that President Biden is significantly underwater in his job approval, with 39% approving and 56% disapproving (48% strongly disapproving) of the job he’s doing. Biden’s disapproval among independents is 64%. As Nevada has more registered independents than Democrats or Republicans, this could spell trouble for Sen. Cortez Masto.
As reported by The Globe:
“If Biden’s numbers remain inconvenient for Cortez Masto heading into next year, it will be more difficult for her to run away from the association. Cortez Masto has a history with Joe Biden that will be hard to shake. Biden swore her into the senate and she endorsed him during the primary. But more importantly, Reid claimed that Biden told him Cortez Masto was in the final three for consideration as his running mate. (She eventually withdrew her name from consideration.)
The Globe also spoke to Democratic strategists:
One Democratic strategist with close ties to the Senate leadership and the White House told The Nevada Globe in an interview today, ‘If I am in a purple district right now as a Republican I’m feeling really good and as a Democrat I’m feeling really really worried. There are so few rising stars in the party, but many of the ones they do have are in purple districts in purple states. If 2022 is anything like 2021 it could, just like 2010 and 2014, wipe out a whole class of rising stars.’
Speaking specifically of Nevada, this strategist—who asked to remain unnamed because of ongoing business relationships with Democratic leaders—discussed Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. ‘Cortez Masto fits that mold [of a rising star] with an increasing voice in the party. She’s been careful not to get too into partisan politics or cable news or the DC noise machine. She’s painting herself as a worker for Nevada. But the results in 2021 indicate 2022 will be tough for Cortez Masto and the same goes for Sen. Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire. And certainly picking up seats in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania was always going to be challenging but now will be … hard.’
This strategist expressed surprise over Cortez Masto’s recent attempts to nationalize the race, as evidenced by her Twitter feed’s consistent references to the dangers of Mitch McConnell and referring to Adam Laxalt as her ‘Trump supported opponent.’
‘If I were advising Senator Cortez Masto, I would tell her that hiring junior staff to run your Twitter feed might play really well with cable news bookers but it does not play well with voters you need to persuade or re-persuade in a purple state. I think that Terry McAuliffe will tell you the DC Democrats coming in and attempting to nationalize this race did not serve him well. Right now, Democrats in Washington are not popular and have not got anything done.’
In a memo obtained by The Globe, Jackie Schutz Zeckman, the NRSC’s executive director, wrote:
“As you know, Republicans only need to win one net seat to gain a majority and it’s becoming increasingly clear that we have opportunities across the country to win….Republican candidates are well-positioned to take advantage of the current political environment and the NRSC, bolstered by our record-breaking fundraising, will do whatever is needed to support our candidates across the country and define the Democrats early.”
In a statement to The Globe, Adam Laxalt said: “As we enter 2022, it’s clear that our campaign has the momentum as conservatives across Nevada and America join our movement. Working families throughout our state are sick and tired of Senator Masto putting Joe Biden’s interests ahead of their needs. I will fight for the forgotten people of Nevada and give them the voice they deserve. Together, we’re going to flip this seat and restore conservative leadership for Nevada.”
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