POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto will win reelection, CNN projects, allowing Democrats to keep the Senate

Nov 12, 2022, 7:53 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will win reelection in Nevada, CNN projects, clinching a cri...
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will win reelection in Nevada, CNN projects, clinching a critical victory that will allow Democrats to keep control of the US Senate. (Photo credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

 (CNN) — Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will win reelection in Nevada, CNN projects, clinching a critical victory that will allow Democrats to keep control of the US Senate.

Cortez Masto had long been viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents as she fended off a challenge from former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt in a state whose economy had been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation.

With Cortez Masto — the first Latina senator — securing a second term, Democrats will hold 50 seats and Republicans will hold 49. Democrats are also defending a seat in Georgia, where Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are headed to a December 6 runoff. But even if Republicans pick up that seat, the chamber would still be evenly divided, allowing Vice President Kamala Harris to still hold the tie-breaking vote. Democrats were able to hold the majority, in part, because they picked up a seat in Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, defeated Trump-backed Mehmet Oz in the contest to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Control of the US House still hangs in the balance and may not be determined for some time with ballots left to be counted in closely contested races in California, as well as other states.

Laxalt was closely allied with former President Donald Trump after aiding his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the Silver State. But it was the state’s difficult economic climate — with one of the nation’s highest inflation rates and gas prices that still topped $5 a gallon in October — that became the animating force in this Senate contest.

Cortez Masto was elected in 2016 to replace outgoing Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, who had been a powerful force in Nevada politics for decades. She touted her efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic to steer comprehensive relief and recovery aid to the convention, trade show, entertainment and hospitality industries that are central to the state’s economy.

One of the biggest challenges she faced is that much of Nevada’s population is transient — meaning many voters had not gotten to know Cortez Masto or her record. Laxalt and Republican allied groups sought to tie the Democratic senator to President Joe Biden, whose approval ratings are underwater in a state that he narrowly won in 2020.

Though there are many economic forces at play in driving inflation, including Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, supply chain issues and the effects of the pandemic, the GOP argued that the spending and relief bills pushed by Democrats led to the sticker shock that many Nevadans are feeling at the gas pump and the grocery store. Cortez Masto focused on Democrats’ legislative efforts to reduce Americans’ costs, including on health care and prescription drugs, while trying to tie her Republican opponent to “big oil.”

Cortez Masto also tried to remind voters of Laxalt’s history as one of Trump’s campaign co-chairs and accused him of pushing an “extreme agenda” and conspiracy theories that she said fueled the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

She and allied Democratic groups also tried to argue that Laxalt would put abortion rights at risk in Nevada, even though they are protected up to 24 weeks by a 1990 voter referendum. In an Op-Ed for the Reno Gazette Journal, Laxalt pushed back — stating that abortion access was settled law in the state and that he would not support a federal ban on abortion.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office is being sued after what started with a Snapchat request in...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office being sued after former cadet reports abuse

A former Salt Lake County Sheriff deputy and academy instructor allegedly committed numerous sexual assaults against a former cadet.
3 days ago
...
Jeff Zeleny, Eva McKend and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Georgia voters once again have the last word during election season

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama stressed the immediate impact of Democrats potentially winning a 51st Senate seat.
3 days ago
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries becomes the first Black lawmaker to lead a political party in the U.S. Congres...
Daniella Diaz

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to succeed Pelosi, the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress

At 52, Jeffries represents a generational change from the current House Democratic leaders, who are three decades older than him.
9 days ago
quilts...
Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett

Senate passes bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage in landmark vote

The bill does not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage. Instead, it requires states to recognize another state's legal marriage.
10 days ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence is seen here with audience members after appearing at at CNN town ...
Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Pence says Trump was ‘wrong’ for dinner with Holocaust denier

Former Vice President Mike Pence says former President Donald Trump was wrong for having dinner with a Holocaust denier and should apologize for it.
10 days ago
A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Sydnee Gonzalez

Analysis shows ‘sizable’ gap in Salt Lake’s west side/east side voter turnout

Voters on Salt Lake City's west side turned out for the 2022 midterms at a much lower rate than their east-side counterparts.
16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto will win reelection, CNN projects, allowing Democrats to keep the Senate