Nevada Democrats will stay in House, campaign chief predicts

Despite headwinds, Democratic campaign chief says Nevada seats will stay blue

WASHINGTON – The man in charge of winning the House for Democrats predicted Tuesday that his party would keep three Nevada seat, despite strong political headwinds that seem to be moving in the other direction.

“We are very clear-eyed that we are the underdogs,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Republicans need just five seats to retake control of the House this fall. With 23 Democrats retiring, President Joe Biden’s flagging approval ratings and inflation and high gasoline prices, Democrats face an uphill battle to retain control of the House.

Last week, The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan group that analyzes campaigns and elections, moved all three of the Nevada districts held by Democrats into the “toss up” column. The report’s House Editor David Wasserman forecast a GOP pickup of 25 to 30 seats in November.

Congressional District 2 represented by Rep. Mark Amodei is considered a safe Republican seat. He faces a primary challenge by former Las Vegas businessman and current Douglas County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian.

But Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., the dean of the Nevada congressional delegation, faces primary opposition from the left with Amy Vilela, a former Nevada co-chair of Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2020. The winner will face eight Republicans who have jumped into the GOP primary after redistricting diluted Democratic voting strength in a bid to shore up more competitive congressional districts in Southern Nevada currently held by Democratic Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford.

A National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman, Torunn Sinclair, said Nevadans know Democrats caused the current economic problems and forced prices to skyrocket.

“They’ll replace Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford with Republicans in November,” Sinclair said.

Maloney didn’t comment on redistricting in Nevada, but said Democratic candidates would run on a record of saving the economy, saving jobs and passage of the infrastructure bill, measures that helped Las Vegas following the coronavirus pandemic. He said Democrats also have strong messages on gun control and reproductive rights, with the expected Supreme Court ruling that could roll back 50 years of protections for women.

Both Lee and Horsford could face high-profile candidates in November. In the 3rd Congressional District, April Becker is the Republican front-runner, while Republicans including Assemblywoman Annie Black and veteran Sam Peters are fighting it out in the 4th Congressional District.

Maloney declined to reveal how much money, and in what states, the Democratic campaign committee would spend to hold their majority. He said he did expect that Democrats would have a cash advantage

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.