Election 2024

Support Us

Indy Elections: Are Republicans still invested in Nevada’s congressional races?

Plus: Trump leads in new poll, ad highlights prescription drug cap
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
Indy Elections

Indy Elections is The Nevada Independent’s newsletter devoted to comprehensive and accessible coverage of the 2024 elections, from the race for the White House to the bid to take control of the Legislature.

In today’s edition: In 2022, Republicans spent millions of dollars to try and flip Nevada’s three Democrat-held congressional districts. Are they still invested this cycle? We also have updates on a new poll showing President Joe Biden trailing former President Donald Trump by 8 percentage points, and share the latest campaign advertisements.

Click this link to manage your newsletter subscriptions. This newsletter is published weekly.

We want to hear from you! Send us your questions, comments, observations, jokes or what you think we should be covering or paying attention to. Email your newsletter editor Tabitha Mueller at [email protected].

Days until: 

  • Primary ballots are prepared and mailed out: 22
  • Regular primary Election Day: 42
  • Election Day: 189

Are Republicans still invested in Vegas House races?

By Gabby Birenbaum

In 2022, expecting to take back the House of Representatives and provide a check on President Joe Biden and Democrats’ trifecta control of Washington, national Republican groups took aim at Nevada’s three Southern Nevada-based seats.

But while Republicans ultimately did win the House, with a net gain of nine seats, the path to the gavel did not run through Las Vegas. Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) won by 4 percentage points; Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) by nearly 5, and Rep. Dina Titus by more than 5.

This cycle, The Cook Political Report rates Lee’s race as “Lean Democrat,” when she used to occupy the “Toss Up” category; Horsford’s and Titus’ races are considered “Likely Democrat.”

After so much time and resources failed to bear fruit in 2022, have Republicans moved on?

Click here to read more. 

What we’re reading and writing

Nevada nuclear commission ready to strike back after pro-Yucca hearing in Congress by Gabby Birenbaum

“Until we get legislation to kill Yucca Mountain … we're on the hook.”

Despite Nevada opposition, USPS to move key mail operations from Reno to Sacramento by Eric Neugeboren

USPS to Nevada: “I don’t care.”

Long-awaited Nevada DMV modernization likely delayed, may cost $300M more by Eric Neugeboren

“The original estimate of the eight years is the new estimate.”

The New York Times: An explosion in Afghanistan nearly killed him. Now, it’s inspiring his Senate bid. by Kellen Browning

Nevada’s Senate GOP front-runner gets The New York Times treatment. 

Public Affairs Council: These Three States Will (Probably) Decide the 2024 Elections by Nathan Gonzales


Indy Poll Watch

Bloomberg/Morning Consult (April 8-14)

  • 450 registered voters (Nevada)
  • Margin of error: 5 percent

President Joe Biden is trailing former President Donald Trump in Nevada by 8 percentage points in the latest monthly poll from Bloomberg/Morning Consult.

The poll results are Biden's worst performance in the survey since January, which also found the president trailing by 8 points. In the March poll, Biden trailed Trump by 2 percentage points, within the margin of error.

When third-party candidates are included in the survey, Trump’s lead over Biden ballooned to 14 percentage points, with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. receiving 7 percent of the vote.

Thirty-six percent of poll respondents had a favorable opinion of Biden, and 46 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Trump (63 percent indicated they had an unfavorable opinion of Biden, while 53 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of Trump).

More than a third of respondents said the most important issue in determining their vote is the economy — which those surveyed trusted Trump to better handle by a margin of 20 percentage points. Around 20 percent of respondents listed immigration as the most important topic driving their vote.

— Eric Neugeboren

Indy Ad Watch

Nevada Legislative Victory — “Fought Back,” “Cap The Costs” - 30 seconds and “Cap The Costs” - 15 seconds

In Reno’s Senate District 15, the Nevada Legislative Victory PAC launched a five-figure digital ad campaign on April 23, highlighting Assemblywoman Angie Taylor’s (D-Reno) efforts to keep abortion safe and legal and her endorsement by Planned Parenthood Nevada. 

Taylor is running in a three-way Democratic primary for the seat that includes Reno City Councilwoman Naomi Duerr. The PAC is dedicated to supporting Democratic candidates running for the Legislature.

The PAC also launched a 30-second and 15-second ad for Sen. Rochelle Nguyen (D-Las Vegas) — who is fending off a primary challenge from Culinary Union-backed Geoconda Hughes — and her efforts to cap prescription drug costs.

The ads, part of a six-figure digital campaign, reference a bill Nguyen supported during the 2023 legislative session (AB250), which the Culinary Union opposed. Though an amendment carved out labor unions from the bill's provisions, representatives from the Culinary Union, which operates its own all-inclusive health care network and services for its members, called the bill an “experiment” and said the union was not included in the drafting of the legislation. 

The measure, vetoed by Gov. Joe Lombardo, would have capped prescription drug costs at maximum fair prices negotiated by Medicare under provisions created through the federal Inflation Reduction Act.

Tabitha Mueller

Jeff Gunter — “Scam Brown”

In Nevada’s Republican Senate primary, Jeff Gunter launched ads last week criticizing front-runner Sam Brown as “the newest creature to emerge from the swamp.”

The ad — part of Gunter’s $3.3 million ad buy — highlights Brown’s connection with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and calls him “king of the swamp.” It also draws attention to Brown’s use of PAC money that he said would go toward supporting other candidates but instead went to pay off his campaign debt, and accuses Brown of not sufficiently supporting former President Donald Trump, who has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race.

Tabitha Mueller

Jennifer Atlas — “Defend”

Democratic state Senate candidate Jennifer Atlas, who is running to represent the swingy Henderson-area Senate District 5, has launched the first in a series of digital ads highlighting her as a pro-abortion rights candidate who will “stand up to extremists to defend our rights.”

The ad also touts Atlas’ Planned Parenthood endorsement and pledges that she will protect reproductive rights, birth control and in vitro fertilization. The campaign will run through the primary.

Tabitha Mueller

Republican State Leadership Committee — “Republican Roadmap

A new ad buy from the RSLC seeks to support down-ballot Republicans with a message about the border.

The ad, which is running in four swing states, including Nevada, portrays elected Republican officials in state legislatures and statewide office as a line of defense against federal policies implemented by President Joe Biden. While it includes footage from elected officials in Florida and Georgia, there are no Nevadans featured in the ad.

Gabby Birenbaum

The Lightning Round

👀 NSEA splits with Dems on two of five endorsements in state Senate primaries — The statewide teachers union split from the state Senate Democratic Caucus to endorse two hopefuls running against caucus-endorsed candidates. The union endorsed Culinary Union-backed Geoconda Hughes instead of incumbent Rochelle Nguyen in Las Vegas’ Senate District 3 and Christian Bishop over Jennifer Atlas in Southern Nevada’s Senate District 5 election. The teachers union, however, did align with caucus endorsements in Northern Nevada’s Senate District 15 (Assemblywoman Angie Taylor (D-Reno) over Naomi Duerr) and Southern Nevada’s Senate District 4 (Sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas) over Regent Laura Perkins) and Senate District 1 (Michelee “Shelly” Crawford over Assemblywoman Clara Thomas (D-North Las Vegas)).

Endorsement alert — On the flip side, the Nevada Conservation League announced its endorsed candidates on Thursday, notably backing caucus-endorsed Nguyen, who is facing a primary challenge from Hughes. The union also endorsed Atlas, who is backed by the Senate Democratic Caucus and is facing Bishop in a primary. In Southern Nevada’s open Senate District 18 election, the league endorsed Republican Josh Leavitt, who is running against two other Republican candidates, including Gov. Joe Lombardo-endorsed Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck.

✈️Trump to visit Nevada — Trump is set to visit Las Vegas on June 8 for a fundraiser hosted by Don Ahern, the CEO of Ahern Rentals. Tickets range from ​​$1,000 per person to a “Team 47” ticket at $844,600 per couple.

✉️ Lombardo letter — Lombardo signed a letter Monday from the National Governors Association opposing a proposal to incorporate parts of the Air National Guard into the Space Force. “National Guard assets are critical components of states’ and territories’ responses to crises,” the letter signed by more than 50 governors of states and U.S. territories said.

Tabitha Mueller

And to ease you into the week, a few “posts” to “X” that caught our eye: 

We’ll see you next week. 


Featured Videos