Speed Reads

2022 elections

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto wins re-election in Nevada, allowing Democrats to maintain control of Senate

Incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) beat Adam Laxalt in Nevada's closely fought Senate race, NBC News and CNN projected Saturday. The critical victory means the Democrats will maintain control of the U.S. Senate. 

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Cortez Masto had carried 48.7 percent of the vote versus Laxalt's 48.2 percent, and was leading by more than 4,900 votes. 

Nevada's Senate race was closer than expected in a state that has trended Democratic in recent elections. Laxalt is from a storied Nevada political family — his grandfather, Paul Laxalt, was a senator and governor in Nevada and a political institution for decades. But 14 of his family members endorsed Cortez Masto in an open letter, in October, a point her campaign highlighted in its final campaign sprint.  

"We all might have a crazy uncle that kind of goes off the rails," former President Barack Obama said, laughing, in a rally last week. "But if you got a full Thanksgiving dinner table and they're all saying you don't belong in the U.S. Senate — when the people who know you best think your opponent would do a better job, that says something about you. That says something about Catherine."

With Cortez Masto's victory, the Democrats will maintain their slim lead in the Senate, putting a further damper on what was a significantly underperforming midterm for the GOP. The Democrats had previously looked to the upcoming Georgia runoff as the likely deciding factor for Senate control, but the win in Nevada now means the Senate will stay blue regardless.