On Saturday (November 12), Democrats sealed their Senate majority when Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) won her nail-biting race against Republican challenger Adam Laxalt.
The race was called by CBS News and NBC News at 9:18 p.m. ET.
Laxalt, who was first elected to Congress in 2016 after defeating her Republican challenger by only two points, had an even narrower victory against Laxalt, beating him by less than one point.
Republicans believed Laxalt, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, had an excellent opportunity to pick up Nevada’s Senate seat following polls showing Laxalt and Cortez Masto within error margins.
Laxalt leaned on inflation, border, and crime to get support during this election cycle, while Cortez Masto homed in on abortion and Laxalt’s comments on the 2020 election, in which the Republican repeated much of Trump’s rhetoric about elections being stolen.
Nevada has often had elections come down to the wire.
In 2016 and 2020, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then President-elect Joe Biden won their respective races in the state by 2.4 points.
The unpredictable nature of the state’s elections can be traced to the state’s tourism industry, which makes much of its population transient, forcing politicians to reintroduce themselves to the electorate whenever their name appears on the ballot.
Cortez Masto faced a particularly challenging reelection bid as Senator, given many businesses and residents are still reeling from the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, which put Democrats in an unfavorable light.
However, COVID-19 restrictions did affect the governor’s seat as Nevada’s Democratic Governor, Steve Sisolak, lost to Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo.