Adam Laxalt, Former Nevada AG, to Challenge Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

Posted on: June 15, 2022, 06:49h. 

Last updated on: June 16, 2022, 03:45h.

Adam Laxalt lost the 2018 Nevada gubernatorial election to Gov. Steve Sisolak (D). The former state’s attorney general now has his sights set on the nation’s capital.

Adam Laxalt Nevada Senate odds Catherin Cortez Masto
Nevada Republican US Senate candidate Adam Laxalt celebrates his primary victory at the Tamarack Casino in Reno on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Laxalt will face Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto during the November midterms. (Image: AP)

Laxalt, Nevada’s attorney general from 2015 through 2018, won yesterday’s Republican primary against a formidable challenge levied by retired Army Capt. Sam Brown — a West Point graduate and Purple Heart recipient.

Laxalt received more than 56% of the GOP primary vote. With the victory, the former Nevada attorney general moves to the general election to take on incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D).

Masto is considered one of the more vulnerable incumbents in the all-important 2022 midterms. Despite only seeking her second Senate term, Cortez Masto is Nevada’s senior senator following the 2019 resignation of former Sen. Dean Heller (R).

Bettors Back Challenger

The Laxalt-Cortez Masto showdown is expected to be a key battleground race that will significantly determine Senate control after the midterms. Early betting action on the Nevada race puts Laxalt as the front-runner.

On PredictIt, Laxalt’s shares of winning the Nevada US Senate election are trading at 64 cents. Cortez Masto’s shares are at just 37 cents.

The odds of the Republican candidate unseating the Democrat continue to improve. Less than a month ago, PredictIt bettors had Laxalt’s shares going to DC at 57 cents.

Laxalt has the backing of President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McDonnell (R-Kentucky). It’s a rare moment of cooperation among the GOP leaders, as Trump and McConnell haven’t reportedly been on speaking terms since December 2020, when the Senate leader acknowledged Trump’s presidential defeat.

Cortez Masto won the Democratic primary yesterday in formality, as the incumbent ran unopposed to any serious challenge. Cortez Masto received more than 90% of the primary vote.

Laxalt is running on a Trump agenda. The Republican has been critical of Sisolak and President Joe Biden’s handling of the pandemic and has scolded the leaders for surging inflation and high gas prices.

Cortez Masto is running on a bipartisan platform, the Senator saying Nevadans deserve a leader “who will cut through the gridlock and dysfunction in Washington.” Her chief goals are expanding affordable health care and restoring and strengthening Nevada’s economy.

Critical Race

Republican and Democratic leaders recognize the importance of winning in the Silver State come November, as Nevada has long been considered a swing state.

Before Sen. Jacky Rosen (D) snagged Heller’s seat during the November 2018 election, the last time both of Nevada’s Senate seats were occupied by Democrats came back in 1989 through 2000. That’s when Sen. Richard Bryan (D) occupied the junior seat under longtime Sen. Harry Reid (D).

American statistician Nate Silver has labeled Cortez Masto as “The most vulnerable Democratic senator in the entire country.”

The 2022 midterms will see 34 of the 100 Senate seats up for election. PredictIt bettors give Republicans a 77% chance of holding power in the upper chamber next year. Political bettors also believe the GOP will control the House following the November 8 vote.