The election race in Nevada has become one of the most intense and expensive in history. It was promoted in the media as the Republicans’ best chance to regain control of the Senate. Warnings of potential troubling signs for Democrats had intensified and multiplied as Election Day approached. While the Democrats have a marginal lead according to independent polls, their Nevada Senator candidate Catherine Cortez-Masto is still in a precarious position and has no margin for error. This paper examines various details of the Cortez-Masto election campaign and assesses the chosen strategy’s possible impact on the vote outcome.
The Electoral Campaign of Cortez-Masto in 2016
Catherine Cortez-Masto was elected Senator from Nevada in 2016. She became the first woman elected to represent Nevada in Senate, and the first Latina elected to serve in the upper chamber. Before that, in 2006 and 2010, she was elected to the post of Nevada Attorney General. The election campaign of Cortez-Masto in 2016 was built on several fundamental aspects. The first was migration and winning the trust of Latina voters. Cortez-Masto’s list of activities included meetings with voters in Latina areas, and she also produced several advertisements in Spanish as a part of her campaign. In 2016, Democrats recognized Latinas as a fast-growing ethnic group that has become influential in voting. According to Stokes-Brown (2018), Latinas are more likely to support Democrats in elections. Cortez-Masto was able to realize this advantage in the last election.
In addition, Cortez-Masto advocated a green agenda and increased investment in alternative energy technologies. She gained favor with the abortion-rights movement as she strongly supported women’s rights movements. This strategy allowed Cortez-Masto to get a seat in the upper house of Congress. However, this year, analysts assume that the previous abstracts may not consolidate the electorate’s votes enough to retain the Democrats a seat in the Senate (Politico, 2022). There are multiple reasons for these conclusions, such as rising inflation, the sluggish economy, rising unemployment in Nevada, and high gasoline prices.
The Electoral Campaign of Cortez-Masto in 2022
The 2022 election race has been the most intense for Democrats and Republicans. In addition, it became one of the most expensive in the state’s history. According to Hakim (2022) “even before an $80 million splurge over the last month brought total ad spending to $176 million, according to AdImpact, a media-tracking firm” (p.16). The Cortez-Masto again expects the support of Latina votes, but the issue of abortion this year has become a crucial point in the Cortez-Masto political program. A woman’s right to abortion care has raised an issue that worries most people: the choice between democratic values and an immediate solution to the accumulated economic problems.
Supporters of Cortez-Masto state that a Republican victory in the election will decline the position of women’s rights. At the same time, the Republicans believe that sacrificing the economy in the name of democratic rights should be stopped immediately. Cortez-Masto could win relatively easily in other conditions, but this year, economic woes might force some electorates to pay more attention to the Republican agenda. The polls show a roughly equal position of the candidates before the start of the voting day (Emerson College Polling, 2022). It demonstrates that the election race is going on with the varying success of one or the other candidate.
Nevada is a political and demographic mirror of the United States. Herrington (2022) writes that the state’s demographic composition mirrors that of the US, and election results tend to convey the mood of the electorate across the country. Thus, Nevada has become a scene for playing out the dramatic confrontation between ethical values and the task of economic survival. The controversy on this issue was becoming more acute because the pandemic hit the Nevada population, employed mainly in the tourism and services sectors. There is one other aspect that makes it difficult to predict the outcome of a vote. For the first time, most of the voters in Nevada identify themselves as independents rather than Democrats or Republicans. This means that people are ready to follow any idea that seems closer and more reasonable. Krishnarajan (2022) analyzed the behavior of voters and concluded that citizens, faced with the dilemma of standing for democracy or receiving immediate political gain, would choose the latter. He emphasizes that people make this choice consciously. They prefer to convince themselves of the rationality and correctness of their decision. This does not mean that the Democrats will lose elections when difficulties arise. On the contrary, such people’s behavior allows Democrats to make undemocratic decisions with impunity.
The priority of the Catherine Cortez-Masto election campaign is the issues of abortion and the protection of women’s rights. These issues are vital to the commitment to democratic development and affect the interests of millions of citizens. Cortez-Masto attracted many voters, enlisting the Latinas and Democrats in the state. Her campaign ran into trouble because of the growing economic problems in Nevada. The rising inflation and unemployment concern forced voters to listen to the Republican Adam Lexalt.
Emerson College Polling. (2022). Nevada 2022: One Week Out, Republicans Lead Democrats for US Senate & 3 of 4 Congressional Seats. Emerson College Polling, 1-3. Web.
Hakim, D. (2022) Nevada’s Costly, Photo-Finish Senate Race Pits Abortion vs. Economy. The New York Times. Web.
Herrington, E. (2022). The 2022 midterms: all races will be close in the battleground state of Nevada. USApp–American Politics and Policy Blog, 1-4. Web.
Krishnarajan, S. (2022). Rationalizing Democracy: The Perceptual Bias and (Un) Democratic Behavior. American Political Science Review, 1-23. Web.
Shepard, S. (2022). The Senate Remains a Toss-Up. Politico.Web.
Stokes-Brown, A. K. (2018). The Latino Vote in the 2016 Election—Myths and Realities about the “Trump Effect”. Lexington Book, 61-80.