Democrats Won Nevada (And the Senate) Thanks to Latino Voters
Nevada's Latino voters showed up for Catherine Cortez Masto, and they saved the Democrats.
Catherine Cortez Masto owed her Senate victory in large part to Nevada’s Latino voters.
Cortez Masto was reelected as Nevada senator over the weekend, winning a tight race against MAGA Republican Adam Laxalt and securing Democratic control of the Senate. Ahead of the vote, analysts had warned she would need to win about two-thirds of the state’s Latino voters to clinch the seat.
She pulled it off: 62 percent of Latino voters said they had voted for the incumbent senator, according to an NBC exit poll.
In the leadup to the midterm elections, analysts widely predicted that Latino voters would swing Republican, disillusioned by Democrats taking their support for granted and failing to address their top issues.
But network exit polls and the AP found that about 60 percent of Hispanic and Latino voters went Democratic.
Latino votes for Democrats are not a given: the community’s support for the party is lower than the previous midterm cycle, when nearly 70 percent of Hispanic and Latino voters went Democratic.
And while Latinos were expected to make up 20 percent of Nevada voters last week, an NBC poll found they made up only 12 percent. The real issue was not whether Latino voters would go Republican; it was whether they would turn up at all.
Cortez Masto, the first Latina senator, worked hard to ensure they would. During her campaign, she did major outreach to the Latino community, particularly women and small business owners. She focused on issues important to them, such as child care and affordable housing, and ran ads in both English and Spanish.
She acknowledged the influence of Latino support in her victory speech: “I will never, ever give up fighting for our immigrant families. That means a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, our TPS holders, our essential workers, and our farm workers,” she said. “These Nevadans deserve to feel safe here, in their home, and I will work with anyone, anyone to ensure they are treated with dignity.”
It turns out voters will back you if you show you’re listening to them.