With the midterms a bit over a week away, certain key battleground states are shaping up to decide the election. In particular, the races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada have emerged as a focus of both parties.
The Democrats want these places badly and so does the GOP. Whoever wins could end up taking the balance of power in the Senate.
When it comes to Nevada, it all comes down to one county. Whoever takes Washoe County, Nevada stands a very good chance of taking the state and, in turn, determining the balance of power in the Senate.
So let’s take a look.
Welcome to Washoe County
As gas prices skyrocket and inflation continues to turn the country upside down, Washoe County, Nevada is as hard hit as anywhere. Its main city of Reno leans left, but more and more voters are deciding to vote red.
Washoe is a swing county, which means it can really go either way and has a history of doing so. The current Senate race between Republican Adam Laxalt and Democrat incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is currently neck-and-neck in the polls.
Located in the northwest of Nevada, Washoe has a population of about half a million and the cost of living just keeps going up. It’s hard to find somewhere to live or rent that’s not extremely expensive; this does not bode well for CCM.
At the same time, Laxalt lost Washoe before and is not as strong as some in the GOP would like him to be. Let’s take a deeper look at this state and what it will take for both to win.
Path for Catherine Cortez Masto to win.
1. Ginning Latino turnout to higher than usual midterm levels.
2. Not get clocked in Clark Suburbs and win by more than 7 points in Clark County Total.
3. Win Washoe, or narrowly lose it by 1-2 pts.
It's not that hard to understand. https://t.co/SMGXipdVVf
— Alex O. Diaz (@AlexODiazNV) June 18, 2022
Laxalt’s Path to Victory
There are about 100,000 registered GOP voters and a similar amount of registered Democratic voters in Washoe County. Around 82,000 are Independent and could go either way.
Clark County and Las Vegas with its union-dominated areas is almost definitely a Democrat win. Washoe could really go either way at this point, especially depending on what this jackpot of non-affiliated voters decides.
Ads are flooding the airwaves from CCM and Laxalt; both candidates are showing up often in the state.
Laxalt’s path to victory is fairly simple. He needs to emphasize that CCM is out of touch on the economy and won’t improve life for ordinary Nevadans.
He can take a loss in Clark County and Vegas by eight or nine points as long as he can deliver Washoe this time by at least a few percent.
Clark county is maybe too generous for Laxalt
He can win Nevada if he keeps Clark within 8-9
and wins Washoe by a few points
— Felix R. Dunn (@FelixRDunn) September 6, 2022
CCM’s Path to Victory
Cortez Masto’s path to victory is also pretty simple.
She needs to get more Latinos to the polls across Nevada, especially in Washoe. Then, she needs to win Clark County by seven percent or more, and win Washoe or only lose it very narrowly.
This would allow her to carry Nevada overall and keep this all-important Senate seat for the Democrats. Keep your eyes on this race in Nevada and on Washoe County in particular: this could definitely go either way!This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.