Preview of US Senate Races in Nevada and North Carolina
Elections & Politics Policy Brief #39 | By: Ian Milden | June 28, 2022
Header photo taken from: Nation World News
Follow us on our social media platforms above
Browse more elections & politics policy briefs from the top dashboard
Photo taken from: The Los Angeles Times
Control of the U.S. Senate will be up for grabs in the 2022 mid-term elections. Competitive races in key states will determine the balance of power. In this brief, I will preview the US Senate races in Nevada and North Carolina.
In Nevada, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is running for a second term. Cortez Masto won the seat in 2016 by defeating Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) in a close race. Before her election to the U.S. Senate, Cortez Masto was the state attorney general for two terms. Her current committee assignments include the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
She will be facing former state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R-NV). Laxalt was the 2018 Republican nominee for Governor. Adam Laxalt is the grandson of Paul Laxalt, the former Governor and US Senator from Nevada. Adam Laxalt also chaired the Trump 2020 campaign in Nevada, so he is well-connected with influential Nevada Republicans.
His website emphasizes his military background and endorsements from other Republicans such as Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL). His website does not provide much information on his policy positions. The limited information on his campaign website regarding his policy positions is in-line with the rhetoric used by many of the Republicans who have endorsed him.
It does not appear that there have been any polls of the Nevada Senate race since the primary was held. Democrats have won most of the recent statewide races, but often by narrow margins. Democrats have owed recent victories in Nevada to a strong get-out-the-vote operation that was built by Harry Reid and his political staff. However, Reid has since passed away, and the leadership of the state Democratic party has changed.
The change in leadership at the state Democratic Party has led to disputes about important data files and multiple staff resignations. Uncertainty about the Democratic voter turnout operation in Nevada will lead to a significant investment of outside resources in Nevada by both Democrats and Republicans. This race will be close and will be determined by who shows up to vote.
Photo taken from: TBA
(click or tap to enlargen)
In North Carolina, there is an election for an open Senate seat due to the retirement of Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). The Republicans nominated Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC), and the Democrats nominated former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley (D-NC). Beasley previously served as an elected state judge before becoming a state Supreme Court Justice. Ted Budd was elected to Congress in 2016 after court-ordered redistricting created an open seat.
Before his election to Congress, Budd owned a gun store and did not have experience in public office. Budd is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, and he has compiled a very conservative voting record in Congress. Budd was not well-known outside of his district before he got the endorsement of Donald Trump and the Club for Growth started paying for advertisements that helped Budd’s campaign.
A recent poll conducted for WRAL, a local news station in Raleigh, finds that the race is within the margin of error. Both candidates registered support in the low 40s, indicating that they both have some work to do on persuading voters to support them in November. This could be due to the candidates not being well-known. The polling data does not include name ID data, which would have been valuable with this race.
According to the poll’s data, Beasley seems to be performing better among moderate and independent voters while her support is a little weaker than a Democratic nominee would prefer among very liberal voters. Budd has strong support among very conservative voters, but he doesn’t perform as well with moderate and independent voters.
His conservative voting record and his efforts to project a very conservative image to win the Republican nomination could be limiting his appeal to moderate and unaffiliated voters. I expect this race to remain in the poll’s margin of error until something shakes up the race. Republicans tend to win statewide races in North Carolina, but Democrats can win in North Carolina if they have the right candidate and get their supporters out to vote.