Recent polling from Univision and its partners showed Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto with a commanding lead among Latino voters in the race against Republican Adam Laxalt. It’s more than commanding, with the incumbent senator leading the Big Lie pusher by an overwhelming margin, 60% to 27%.
It’s a margin that could again help carry Cortez Masto, who made history in 2016 as the nation’s first Latina U.S. senator, to victory. NBC News reports that as Election Day has approached, and is now here, the Cortez Masto campaign has been steadily making a “final push” among Latina voters, who could be crucial in this neck-and-neck race.
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“Cortez Masto’s campaign has targeted Latinos generally for months, but she and Somos PAC, a major Latino group in the state, have specifically targeted Latinas,” NBC News reported. “That's on top of work by the Culinary Union, the most influential labor group in Nevada, 60% of whose membership is Hispanic, which has deployed an army of canvassers into the field to persuade voters to support Democrats on Tuesday.”
Efforts have included English and Spanish-language advertising that have touted Cortez Masto’s family history—her grandfather, Edward Cayetano Cortez, was born in Chihuahua and later served in the U.S. military during World War II—her effective record in public office, and the extreme positions of her GOP challenger. One Spanish-language ad targets Laxalt on abortion, noting that he hailed the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade and ended federal abortion protections.
In-person events have also been critical, NBC News reported. At one recent gathering, local business owner Vanessa Barreat said she nearly lost her business during the pandemic. “Barreat credited Cortez Masto for helping her secure small-business assistance to help her business survive the economic hit.”
“She don’t look Latina, but the way that she talks to you, the way she listens to you, the way she looks at you when you’re talking, it makes you feel like she cares. And that’s how we are,” Barreat told NBC News. “She made me feel comfortable.” Working Latinas faced dramatic losses during the pandemic. While many were already head of household, they noted familial responsibilities only increased during the pandemic.
”Working women—heads of household who help steer their families’ decisions and are leaders in their communities, workplaces, and churches—are precisely the type of voter who Cortez Masto and Somos PAC say will help sway more of the electorate in her direction,” NBC News continued. Latinas are overall more civically minded, with higher voter participation rates than Latino men, UnidosUS said in 2018.
There is also Cortez Masto’s significance as the chamber’s only Latina member. Cecia Alvarado, Somos PAC executive director, grew emotional describing what her election meant to her child, NBC News said.
“My daughter wants to go to law school and become a senator because we have a Latina who’s done it,” she told the outlet. “That’s my American dream, as an immigrant, to make sure my daughter has the opportunity to go to a good college, to go to law school.” Barreat said, “It means a lot, especially for Latinos. It’s the first time for me that I see people in Washington care about small business.”
Just in the past few days, Cortez Masto’s campaign has also gotten in a bit of dig at Laxalt, promoting the fact that 14 of his relatives endorsed her last month. NBC News reported that her campaign ran bilingual, full-page ads in seven newspapers this past Sunday touting the letter that Laxalt family members released.
“We believe that Catherine possesses a set of qualities that clearly speak of what we like to call ‘Nevada grit,’” they wrote in their letter. “We staunchly believe that Catherine is well equipped with her own ‘Nevada grit’—a quality that she will take forward in representation of our home state for six more years across the halls of Congress.”
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At long last, the 2022 midterms are here! With the battle for the House front and center, we give you a window into the key races on a final pre-election episode of The Downballot. We discuss a wide range of contests that will offer insight into how the night is going, including top GOP pickup opportunities, second-tier Republican targets, and the seats where Democrats are on offense. And with many vote tallies likely to stretch on for some time, we also identify several bellwether races in states that count quickly.