November 13th, 2018

Beyond the Beltway
By Michael Green

Blue Nevada?

Whether or not Nevada is blue, the state’s Republicans certainly feel that way. While nationally Democrats took over the House and lost ground in the Senate, they conquered Nevada.

You know the basics: Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller, Steve Sisolak beat Adam Laxalt, Democrats won every other statewide office except secretary of state (more on that in a moment), and the party has a supermajority in the Assembly and has a strong majority in the Senate. What does it mean? A few early suggestions:

–When the Culinary is engaged, it really matters. Comparing midterms to midterms and presidential elections to presidential elections is best. In 2014, the Culinary was less engaged, unhappy with a lack of movement on key issues. That helped Republicans sweep. In 2018, it was a different story–as it was in 2016, when the state’s most powerful union strained every nerve on behalf of Democratic candidates.

–Washoe County is changing. Yes, it’s more Republican than Clark County, but …. Mark Amodei has a safe House seat, and was reelected with 58.23 percent–but he won Washoe by only 4,000 votes, and that’s a warning to Republicans. The area is becoming more Hispanic, and technological.

–Dina Titus figures to chair a House subcommittee, and that’s unusual for Nevadans. But she’s moving up, and it will be interesting to see where that leads.

–Nevada has two Democratic senators for the first time since Richard Bryan retired in 2000, and two women senators for the first time, uh, ever.

–And it was a night for women candidates, in addition to Rosen. Four of Nevada’s six-member congressional delegation are women. The Nevada Supreme Court now has a female majority. With 18 Democrats and four Republicans, women are a majority of the state legislature.

That doesn’t mean Nevada has completely changed. The rural counties are still redder than a bleeding beet. Clark County still predominates and Washoe can swing an election. And it doesn’t get much more Nevada than this: a dead brothel owner was elected to the legislature.

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