Democrats ability to hang on to control of the Senate rests in part on their ability to hold a seat in Nevada currently occupied by Catherine Cortez Masto. In 2016, Masto won the seat previously been held by Sen. Harry Reid, but it was a close race. She beat GOP candidate Joe Heck by about 25,000 votes.

Today, Ruy Teixeira points out that holding on to that seat might not be as easy as Democrats hope. There are signs that the party is struggling with both Hispanic and working class voters in the state, not to mention President Biden’s low approval rating.

In 2020, as the Democrats gained ground in the country as a whole, the Democratic margin in Nevada went from 2.4 points… 2.4 points. That means that—again, despite rapid diversification of the electorate—Nevada went from three-tenths of percentage more Democratic than the nation as a whole in 2016 to 2 points more Republican in 2020.

Hmm. Now how did that happen? Start with Nevada’s Hispanic voters, 16 percent of 2020’s voting electorate. According to unpublished States of Change data, the Democratic margin among Hispanics contracted by 8 points between 2016 and 2020 (Catalist data show an even larger 17 point decline)…

Recent Nevada polling does not inspire confidence in Democratic prospects. In Civiqs tracking polling, Biden’s approval rating is worse in the state than in the nation as whole, both overall and among Hispanics in particular. Among working class Hispanics in the state, Biden is actually underwater, with disapproval of his performance exceeding approval.

These patterns haven’t only been noticed by Teixeira. Just last week the NY Times published a story about the growing concern about the midterms in general and Sen. Masto’s chances in particular.

Democrats have long relied on working-class and Latino voters to win Nevada, but the loyalty of both groups is now in question. Young voters who fueled Senator Bernie Sanders’ biggest victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary remain skeptical about President Biden. And Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat and the country’s first Latina senator, is one of the party’s most endangered incumbents.

She must overcome the president’s sagging approval ratings, dissatisfaction with the economy and her own relative anonymity. And she lacks the popularity and deep ties with Latino voters that Senator Harry M. Reid, who died in December, harnessed to help build the state’s powerful Democratic machine. The state has long been a symbol of the Democratic Party’s future by relying on a racially diverse coalition to win elections, but those past gains are now at risk…

Nevada, which Mr. Biden carried in 2020, has been a linchpin for Democrats in presidential elections since 2008. But an election-cycle pattern that has alarmed Democrats has emerged. The party dominates in presidential elections but struggles during the midterms when a Democrat is in the White House. Democratic turnout takes a steep drop, largely because of the state’s highly transient population, and Republicans gain ground.

Masto is doing her best to present herself as a very moderate figure. She recently released a Spanish-language ad emphasizing her grandfather’s military service in WWII and her focus on jobs and small businesses. There are no leftist buzzwords in this ad. The themes could work just as well for a Republican campaign.

In keeping with that centrist, almost center-right, approach Masto has joined other vulnerable Democrats including Sens. Mark Kelly, Kyrsten Sinema and Raphael Warnock in opposing the Biden administration’s plan to end Title 42 removals. Masto has warned that doing so now could lead to another surge at the border.

“This is the wrong way to do this and it will leave the administration unprepared for a surge at the border,” Cortez Masto said in a statement to POLITICO. “We should be working to fix our immigration system by investing in border security and treating immigrant families with dignity. Instead, the administration is acting without a detailed plan.”…

Democrats criticizing the Title 42 announcement “are scared to death that Republicans are going to spend money saying they are for open borders and for letting in what Donald Trump called ‘bad people,’” said Chuck Rocha, a longtime Democratic consultant. “It’s not the policy they’re scared of — it’s the ads.”

The ads really will write themselves. If anything like 18,000 migrants per day start crossing the border it will mean televised images of crowded detention centers, more young children dropped over the border wall and more stories about the Biden administration’s inability to manage it all.

But the Biden administration has been promising to end Title 42 since last year and with COVID numbers dropping there’s really no excuse they can offer for keeping it in place through the midterms. So Democratic Senators like Masto who are trying their best to present a moderate image are going to have to either defend this decision or break completely with the Biden administration. Either way it creates a problem for them. And because Democrats can’t afford to lose a single Senate seat it creates a problem for the party.

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