Why Nevada Republicans are targeting Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s seat

Last week, the Laxalt campaign — which has the backing of Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — launched “Latinos for Laxalt” in a bid to woo Hispanic voters. Cortez Masto allies have made sure to use the Spanish-language criticism of Latinos against Laxalt — which they say is just a smart, uncompromising campaign.

The Nevada Democratic Party also suffers from an unusual schism. In effect, the party has split in two between a group aligned with former allies of Reid, the late senator, and a smaller faction led by allies of Vermont progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The state’s top Democrats — including Cortez Masto, Sen. Jacky Rosen and Gov. Steve Sisolak — all work through a new entity called Nevada Democratic Victory, which coordinates field operations and other spending for the state. statewide campaign with the Democratic National Committee in Washington.

It’s not entirely clear what role the official Nevada state Democratic party will play in the 2022 midterms. The group, which is led by Judith Whitmer, an ally of Sanders, announced that it only had half a million dollars at the start of the campaign trail – money it said would nonetheless be used. to “mount a huge campaign on the ground”. And while Cortez Masto allies insist that all is well and that all tensions between the two groups have been ironed out, many also admit to having no idea what the state party is doing.

Cortez Masto’s campaign says it’s not taking any community in the state for granted and is simply continuing the senator’s longstanding efforts to engage with an important constituency that has been hit hard by the disruptions. economy in recent years.

“As Senator Cortez Masto continues to build on her strong record of fighting for Nevada’s Latino community, Adam Laxalt continues to show that he cannot be trusted,” said Josh Marcus-Blank, Cortez Masto campaign spokesperson. declaration.

Vargas, the head of the NALEO Education Fund, said engaging Latino voters, especially younger voters, will be a critical factor in November. His group predicted Latino turnout will rise 5.8% in Nevada during the 2022 midterms, but declined to speculate on which party might benefit.

Edward K. Thompson