The Assembly results correlated very strongly with the presidential results. Two Democrats won Trump Assembly seats, while no Republicans represent Clinton turf. Democrat Skip Daly lost his Reno-area AD-31 by a brutal 55-45 margin to Republican Jill Dickman during the 2014 GOP landslide, but he unseated Dickman last year by 38 votes even as Donald Trump was taking his seat 49-43; Romney narrowly won AD-31 49.5-48.5. It was a similar story with Leslie Cohen, the other Democrat in a Trump district. In 2014, Cohen lost her seat to Republican Stephen Silberkraus 55-45, but last year, she unseated Silberkraus 50.4-49.6, a margin of 212 votes. Trump carried AD-29, located around Henderson, by a slim 47.0-46.4 margin, a swing to the right from Obama’s 50-48 win.
Remarkably, Cohen’s seat was the one Assembly district in the state to go from Obama to Trump, while no seats went from Romney to Clinton. However, there’s no doubt that the Assembly map, while drawn by a court, benefits Team Blue. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. Because Nevada has an even number of Assembly seats, we average the Clinton and Trump percentages for the middle two seats to come up with the median. The median point in the House backed Clinton 52-43, well to the left of her 48-46 win. The Democratic geographic edge didn't mean much in 2014 when not enough Democratic voters showed up to the polls. But in 2018 there will be an open seat race to succeed Sandoval, while Democrats are likely to target GOP Sen. Deal Heller: Even if Democrats lose both races, they should at least be able to avoid a repeat of the 2014 disaster.
We’ll turn next to the Senate, where Clinton won 14 of the 21 seats. No districts went from Obama to Trump, while one seat swung from Romney to Clinton: SD-08 in the Las Vegas area, which went from 49.5-48.9 Romney to 48-47 Clinton. This seat is represented by none other than Patricia Farley, the Republican who became an independent and caucuses with the Democrats. The median Senate seat backed Clinton 50-45.
Of the 11 senators who won in 2016, only one prevailed even as the opposite party’s presidential candidate was winning the seat. In the open Reno-area SD-15, Republican Heidi Gansert, a former chief of staff to Sandoval, won 53-42 even as Clinton carried the seat 47-44. However, Democrats narrowly flipped the open SD-06 in suburban Las Vegas, which was what they needed to do to control the chamber without Farley; Democrat Nicole Cannizzaro won 51-49 as Clinton carried the seat 50-45. Democratic state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse’s 48-47 re-election win also saved the Democratic majority; Clinton carried SD-05 around Henderson 48-46.
The good news for Senate Democrats is that their majority should be safe in 2018. Only three of the 10 seats up then are Democratic-held, and all three decisively stayed blue during the 2014 disaster. However, Farley may have a bumpy re-election next year. Of the six Republicans up in 2018, only Becky Harris in the suburban Las Vegas SD-09 represents a Clinton seat, but at 51-43 Clinton, it’s tough turf to defend. Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, who lost the 2016 primary for the 3rd Congressional District, is also defending a seat that Trump won just 48-46.
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