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June 26, 2016

Nevada Senate Race [Y-not]

While we wait for the rest of the cobloggers to sober up make bail, here's a quick thread to amuse you.

According to the Cook Political Report Senate race ratings, the Democrats have a good shot at re-taking the Senate. However, two seats currently held by Democrats might flip: Nevada (which they rate as a tossup) and Colorado (which they rate as a leans Democrat). Although there's some concern about the GOP losing the Senate, I thought it might be instructive to look at the Republicans' prospects of flipping Harry Reid's old seat.

Here's what Harry Enten from FiveThirtyEight had to say the week before the state primary:

How sweet would it be for Republicans if they could win the Democratic minority leader's seat? Six years ago, many political observers thought just that would happen, but in 2010 then-Majority Leader Harry Reid won re-election by 6 percentage points, despite polls showing him trailing. The unpopular Reid, who is retiring, won because Republicans picked a disaster of a candidate in Sharron Angle.

Angle is running again but will almost certainly be defeated in the Republican primary by Heck, a member of the U.S. House. [Y-not: Heck won.] Heck is about as strong a nominee as Republicans could hope for. He represents a swing district just outside of Las Vegas, the 3rd.

Heck's Democratic opponent is likely to be Masto, a former state attorney general. [Y-not: Masto won.] She's Reid's hand-picked successor and probably one of the best options the Democrats had. Masto, who has Mexican heritage, will be relying on Nevada's growing Hispanic population, which has taken the state from a Republican lean to fairly easy Obama victories in 2008 and 2012. Trump's position at the top of the ticket might hurt Heck; we've already seen Nevada's other Republican senator, Dean Heller, say he might not vote for Trump. Heck has led in the very few surveys of the race released so far, though polling in Nevada has tended to underestimate Democratic candidates in past elections.

Heller proved in 2012 that a Republican can win a Senate race in Nevada even as a Democrat carries the state at the presidential level. We'll have to wait and see whether Heck can follow in his path.

I didn't see recent polling on the Nevada race, but a couple of Super PACs have already started running ads:

First up, the Koch PAC ad targeting Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democrats' candidate for Senate:

And here's a link to an ad by another super PAC supporting the Republican candidate, Joe Heck:

Do any of our Nevada morons have a sense for Heck's chances? It sure would be nice to flip that seat.

Well, at least we'll still have the House!

**Updated with link to AoSHQDD's results on the Senate race.**

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posted by Open Blogger at 02:30 PM

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