Nevada Senate Race: Polls and Odds Differ Greatly on Cortez Masto vs. Laxalt

Posted on: October 21, 2022, 03:01h. 

Last updated on: November 7, 2022, 10:49h.

The Nevada US Senate race will be determined in less than 18 days. But predicting who will win come Election Day on Tuesday, November 8, is seemingly anyone’s guess.

Nevada Senate race 2022 odds midterms Laxalt Masto
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is challenging US Sen. Catherine Cortex Masto for her seat in DC. Political bettors think Laxalt is the favorite, but polls have the race much closer. (Image: AP)

Pollsters have the race nearly neck-and-neck. The polling average on Real Clear Politics gives former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) a slight 1.2-point advantage over incumbent US Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D). The differential is within the polling margin of error.

Political bettors, however, believe the Republican challenger in Nevada is the heavy front-runner. On PredictIt, the bulk of the money is on Laxalt to oust Cortez Masto from her Senate seat in DC. Laxalt’s shares of winning the election are trading at 68 cents.

Laxalt’s implied odds of 68% have slowly bettered over the past 30 days from an implied chance of about 52% this time last month. Cortez Masto’s shares have gone the opposite direction from an implied chance of about 50% to just 33% this week.

Betting on Laxalt is among the easiest money on PredictIt right now,” commented one trader on the market’s discussion board.

“This market used to be 70-30 the other way around, and I was too cowardly to place a big bet,” said another.

Cortez Masto vs. Laxalt

Cortez Masto replaced the late US Sen. Harry Reid (D) in January 2017 after he held the seat for 30 years. During his tenure, Reid was considered the biggest congressional advocate for the US gaming industry on Capitol Hill.

Cortez Masto, born and raised in Las Vegas, is no stranger to gaming. Her father, Manny Cortez, was an attorney who led the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for many years and later served on the Clark County Commission.

Cortez Masto’s key issues are strengthening the economy, expanding affordable health care access, improving national security, better supporting veterans, protecting the environment, combatting climate change, defending a woman’s right to choose an abortion, and overhauling the nation’s immigration system.

Laxalt is also a Nevada native, but was born in Reno. Laxalt served in the US Navy before practicing law. In 2014, he ran for and won the state attorney general’s office, a position he held until early 2019. Laxalt’s late grandfather, Paul Laxalt, was governor of Nevada from 1967 to 1971. Laxalt’s father, Pete Domenici, was a US Senator representing New Mexico from 1973 to 2009.

Laxalt’s key issues are restoring the economy, securing the nation’s borders, fighting crime, protecting gun rights and the Second Amendment, election integrity, and supporting pro-life policies.

Congressional Power

The 2022 midterms are critical in determining the power of Congress beginning next year.

A Republican-controlled Senate and House stands to render President Joe Biden a sort of lame-duck president. He might struggle to accomplish his remaining political goals because of stark opposition on Capitol Hill.

PredictIt bettors are confident the GOP will claim the House. Republican shares of winning the lower congressional chamber are trading at 87 cents.

The Senate is a different story, but Republicans are slight front-runners in that market, too. “Who will control the Senate after 2022?” has GOP shares at 65 cents to Democratic shares at 38 cents.

According to the polls compiled by Real Clear Politics and projections from FiveThirtyEight, Nevada and Ohio are the two closest Senate races this year. Their outcomes will significantly determine which party controls Congress for the next two years.

House Nearly Sure Thing?

Bettors and pollsters agree on one thing, and that’s that Republicans will take back the House. All 435 House seats are up for election next month.

To hold onto the barest majority possible, 218 seats, Democrats have to win 25 (81%) out of the 31 ‘toss ups,’ while Republicans need to win just seven (23%) of the 31,” explained political analyst Charlie Cook.

Cook says the House outcome isn’t set in stone.

“Voters are deeply conflicted this year. Watch for that last gust of wind: whichever way it blows can make a huge difference in so many of these really close races,” Cook concluded.