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Latino vote in Nevada could lead to a Republican Senate majority


Key points

  • In July, Quinnipiac University released a poll that showed Biden’s approval rating among Latino voters at 19% and a disapproval rating at 70%. Daniel Garza, president of the Libre Initiative, a nationwide Latino outreach organization, shared with me that “with majorities of Latinos expressing their belief that America is heading in the wrong direction and feeling the pain of runaway inflation, it is no surprise to see a political realignment — benefiting the GOP — happening in real time.”
  • The “Latino base” that Democrats have relied upon for years is quickly dwindling. Garza added that “a recent Pew post-election voter survey showed that just 20% of Latino voters described themselves as liberal, while 45% said they were moderate and 35% identified as conservative. A similar poll from 2012 showed it was 30%, 31%, and 32% respectively. A concerning factor for Democrats is that Latinos are identifying less and less as ideologically liberal, and more as conservative or moderate.”
  • Incumbent Senate Democrats in the Southwest face the biggest hurdle this November, and with a Democratic Senate majority hanging on by a thread, a loss in either Arizona or Nevada (or both) would be devastating for Democrats. They have focused for decades on appealing to Spanish-speaking communities, but with the party’s shift further to the left, these communities are feeling alienated and used.
  • There is no greater example of this than in Nevada. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is seeking reelection, running against former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Cortez Masto entered the Senate in 2016, filling the seat of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She won the seat by 2.4 points. While recent polls show Cortez Masto and Laxalt essentially tied (an Emmerson poll has Laxalt +1), Biden maintains a 41% approval rating within the state and is growing in unpopularity among the state’s Latinos.

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