Election 2024

Support Us

Indy Elections: Can Sam Brown win over Jewish voters?

Plus: A bad-for-Biden poll + anti-rent control ad
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
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: We explore how Sam Brown is trying to woo Jewish voters when the Democratic incumbent is Jewish, discuss a new poll showing former President Donald Trump with his largest lead yet and dig into ads where Republican candidates try to outdo each other in their pro-Trump credentials.

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].

By the Numbers: 

  • 28 days until the primary election
  • 8 days until primary ballots are prepared and mailed out
  • 1 day until the top three Las Vegas mayoral candidates duke it out, I mean, debate, at IndyTalks (let’s just hope no one breaks a finger)
  • 0 days since an ad ran where a Republican candidate stated support for Trump or a Democratic candidate discussed prescription drug prices

How Jewish voters could factor into Nevada’s toss-up Senate race

By Gabby Birenbaum

How do you try to attract Jewish voters when your opponent is Jewish?

That’s the question U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown is facing as he, like other Republican candidates, attempts to use Democratic divisions over Israel as a means to win the support of a voter bloc that has been one of the most consistently liberal groups in politics. Brown speaks out often on social media about the need to support Israel and his opposition to pro-Palestine campus protests.

But if he wins the nomination, he will face off against Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), whose Jewish faith is a core tenet of her political identity and who has remained a staunch ally of Israel even as other members of her party (including the president) have warned Israel could lose U.S. support if it crosses certain red lines in its war in Gaza.

I talked to Brown, the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Nevada chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America to figure out how Israel and antisemitism might play into a Senate race where the Jewish population is bigger than the margin of victory in the last contest. 

Read the story here.

What we’re reading and writing

Tracking Nevada’s 2024 ballot measures: From A’s to abortion rights by Eric Neugeboren

All the updates you could possibly want on the 10 potential ballot questions that may go before voters.

Biden campaign asks court to dismiss GOP lawsuit challenging Nevada mail ballot deadline by Gabby Birenbaum

Dems are bringing out the heavy hitters.

Ballot measure seeking to defund A’s stadium rejected by Nevada Supreme Court by Tabitha Mueller and Howard Stutz

Strikeout (until 2026!)

Nevada Supreme Court weighs whether proposed voter ID ballot measure amounts to poll tax by Eric Neugeboren

Less than two months until the deadline to submit signatures, but who’s counting?

Judge dismisses suit challenging Uber-backed petition capping attorney fees at 20 percent by Eric Neugeboren

To quote The Boss, “Uber 1, trial lawyers 0.”

Nevada Supreme Court strikes down independent redistricting commission ballot questions by Tabitha Mueller

Third time’s not the charm.

Indy Explains: What’s happening with universal free meals for Nevada students? by Rocio Hernandez

Campaign issue alert.

Indy Poll Watch

The New York Times/Siena College (April 28 to May 9)

  • Margin of error: 4.5 percent

Former President Donald Trump is beating President Joe Biden by 12 points among registered Nevada voters in a head-to-head contest, Trump’s largest margin among swing states in the poll and biggest lead in any Nevada poll yet this cycle. The lead balloons to 14 points when third-party candidates are included. 

Yet, the poll also found that Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is up 2 points on Republican front-runner Sam Brown among registered voters and tied at 41 percent apiece among likely voters — a virtual dead heat.

What to make of this New York Times poll and its seemingly oxymoronic results? It’s hard to imagine that more than10 percent of the electorate are Trump/Rosen split ticket voters (a point echoed by some rando on social media).

Regardless, the poll and its crosstabs tell a troubling story for the Biden campaign and its effort to hold together the multiracial, multigenerational coalition that powered it to victory in 2020. Among registered voters polled, Trump is up 13 points with voters younger than 30, up 9 points with Hispanic voters and up 4 points in the suburbs.

In 2020 exit polling, Biden won those groups by 30, 26 and 17 percentage points, respectively.

— Gabby Birenbaum

Indy Ad Watch


John Lee, a former Democratic mayor of North Las Vegas who is running for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, released a 30-second spot last week where he says “he'll stand with President Trump to secure our border.” 

Dan Schwartz, the former treasurer who is running for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, began airing an ad last week that said “President Trump needs leadership in Congress, and Dan Schwartz is ready to serve.”

The ads are part of a broader campaign trend in which Republican candidates are seeking to establish themselves as the more pro-Trump option, perhaps in a bid to earn his coveted endorsement (Trump has not endorsed in either of Lee or Schwartz’s races). In 2022, more than 80 percent of Trump-endorsed primary candidates prevailed.

The jockeying for the Trump wing of the party is particularly apparent in the U.S. Senate race. Front-runner Sam Brown (who eschewed endorsing Trump for president until he had all but secured the nomination) released an ad earlier this month pledging to “finish President Trump’s border wall.” Meanwhile, Jeff Gunter, the former ambassador to Iceland under Trump who considers himself “110 percent pro-Trump,” released a spot last month that said Brown has “attacked and hates President Trump.”

— Eric Neugeboren



  • In 2022, the Culinary Union unsuccessfully ran a rent control ballot initiative for North Las Vegas. The Nevada Realtors appear to be preemptively countering support for rent control this election cycle, spending more than $300,000 in launching an ad campaign that started on April 30 in Las Vegas and Reno, stating, “Rent control doesn’t create more housing.”


Tabitha Mueller and Eric Neugeboren

The Lightning Round

🍎 CCEA splits with NSEA (again) — In another sign of the split between two of Nevada’s biggest teacher unions, the Clark County Education Association endorsed Jennifer Atlas in Henderson’s swingy Senate District 5 Democratic primary, while the Nevada State Education Association, endorsed challenger, Christian Bishop. The race has already divided Democrats.

✉️ Mail received after Election Day — Last week, the Trump campaign and GOP allies filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Nevada law allowing elections officials to accept mail ballots for up to four business days after Election Day. But how many ballots are actually rolling in after Election Day? We fact checked it.

Endorsements in the U.S. Senate Republican primary — The Nye County Republican Central Committee endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tony Grady over front-runner Sam Brown ahead of the June 11 primary election. Fellow candidate Jeff Gunter announced endorsements last week from key Trump allies, including radio host Wayne Allen Root, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and far-right activist Laura Loomer. Las Vegas businessman and prolific GOP donor Don Ahern also endorsed Gunter after Ahern backed Brown’s insurgent bid against Adam Laxalt in 2022.

🥇 #WeMatter — In the Biden campaign’s first canvassing event of the election cycle, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NV) joined around 70 Biden surrogates on Saturday to knock on doors and speak with Las Vegas voters. 

👋 Brown, Gunter skip Washoe debate — Brown and Gunter, the two presumptive favorites to win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, skipped a debate for Senate candidates last week in Reno. Brown has so far not participated in any Senate candidate forum; Gunter was originally supposed to appear at last week’s event but did not show.

Tabitha Mueller and Eric Neugeboren

Looking Ahead

🧑‍⚖️ Wednesday, May 15 — There’s a scheduled court hearing in the case brought by Attorney General Aaron Ford against the six Nevada Republican “fake electors” who were each indicted on two counts by a grand jury in December over their role in the national plot coordinated by Trump’s campaign to cast electoral votes for the president in states where he did not win. More information here.

🗣️Wednesday, May 15 The Nevada Independent is hosting an IndyTalks event in Las Vegas with the top three candidates for Las Vegas Mayor. More details here.

Tabitha Mueller

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

We’ll see you next week.

Interested in more newsletters from The Nevada Independent

Find them all here


Featured Videos