Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Wins Reelection in Most Important Race for Democrats

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Wins Reelection in Most Important Race for Democrats

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has narrowly defeated tough Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, securing a second term in office and keeping the Democratic Party's majority in Senate.

Democrats now have the opportunity to gain a Senate seat for the upcoming legislative session, if Georgia also swings blue in the December runoff election.

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Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak hold their hands up after giving remarks at an election night party hosted by Nevada Democratic Victory at The Encore on November 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is facing Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, while Gov. Steve Sisolak is facing Republican Joe Lombardo.
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak hold their hands up after giving remarks at an election night party hosted by Nevada Democratic Victory at The Encore on November 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is facing Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, while Gov. Steve Sisolak is facing Republican Joe Lombardo.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty

Cortez Masto was the first Latina elected to U.S. Senate, who focused much of her reelection campaign on her opponent's firm anti-abortion stance, a top-of-mind issue for many voters since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June.

Laxalt, meanwhile, previously served as Nevada's attorney general from 2015 to 2019, and comes from a powerful political family (his grandfather and father were both U.S. senators).

Nevada Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt (R) greets supporters at a campaign stop outside the Nevada GOP Asian Pacific American (APA) Engagement Community Center on November 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the final day of early voting, Laxalt, a former Attorney General of Nevada, continues to make stops on his tour through the 17 counties of the state in his campaign to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto
Nevada Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt (R) greets supporters at a campaign stop outside the Nevada GOP Asian Pacific American (APA) Engagement Community Center on November 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the final day of early voting, Laxalt, a former Attorney General of Nevada, continues to make stops on his tour through the 17 counties of the state in his campaign to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

Mario Tama/Getty GOP Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt Campaigns Across Nevada

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But the Republican and Trump-endorsed candidate's far-right viewpoints proved detrimental in a previous attempt to climb the ladder when he ran for governor in 2018.

Like many Trump-endorsed candidates, Laxalt was an election denier who falsely claimed the 2020 presidential election was "rigged." Laxalt also served as a co-chair of the Trump campaign, which posed numerous post-presidential election challenges that were thrown out by courts across the country due to a lack of evidence.

Despite making those claims about a rigged election, Laxalt has urged voters to turn out while on the campaign trail for himself, telling people "your votes are going to matter," in audio recordings obtained by NBC News.

The continued pro-Trump messaging around re-litigating that election has not proven powerful among voters, with the "red wave" that many Republicans projected failing to materialize in the midterms. Across the country, early results indicated that many candidates endorsed by Trump (including those who continued to espouse fraudulent election claims, like Kari Lake in Arizona) were struggling.

Early election results showed Laxalt with a slight lead over Cortez Masto, but the scales tipped with the count of late-arriving mail-in ballots from Democratic strongholds such as Clark and Washoe Counties.

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In the same state where Sen. Cortez Masto won her reelection bid, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak lost his, conceding to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo on Friday.

Providing one major win — and one major loss — to each party in the midterms, Nevada has once again demonstrated that it is a true purple state.