Former Nevada GOP chair on Cortez Masto-Laxalt Senate race
With the balance of the Senate at stake, no state has been more indicative of the divide between
Republicans and Democrats than that of Nevada. Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is in a
heated race for her seat with the state’s former Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Polling has been
incredibly tight. A recent Univision poll shows Cortez Masto edging out her opponent by just 2% among
registered voters, while an insider advantage American greatness poll released this week has Laxalt
leading by two points. Like Democrats nationwide, the incumbent has made abortion rights a central
issue to her campaign. Meanwhile, her opponent has focused on the nation’s economic woes and
record inflation. Nevadans have felt the brunt of rising prices with inflation spiking 16% since January of
- That’s according to the US Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Joining us now to discuss is
former Nevada state Republican Party chair Amy Tarkanian. Amy, welcome. Democrats are for
focusing on abortion. Well, it seems Nevadans are much more concerned about the economy. Is this
working to the Republicans benefit?
Well, I sure hope so. And I think also you can throw in crime, inflation. And I think the fact that you have
Democrats across the board, so hyper focused on abortion, I don’t know if they’re seeing an internal
polling that’s completely different from what maybe you are, I have been shown, but it doesn’t make
much sense to me personally, that here in the state of Nevada, that you would have Democrat
candidates focused so much on abortion, because in the early 90s, we actually took a vote in two
elections, and solidified that abortion was allowed up to 24 weeks, so nothing’s going to be changed no
matter who wins this election.
Looking back at that Univision poll, it found that Latino voters in the state favored Cortes Masto 60% to
27%. Is lack salt courting those voters in the less than two weeks ahead of the election?
Well, he’s been courting them I think the entire time. I know that he’s had you know, Latinos, Latinas,
for lack salt. He’s had all kinds of demographics. I know he’s even got, you know, just gender. He’s got
ladies for Laxalt where former Democrat presidential candidate and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is
going to be stumping for him. But you know, both sides have power hitters coming in. We’ve had, you
know, Bernie Sanders is coming in. We’ve got President Obama, which will be the biggest draw, I
believe, outside of having President Trump on the Republican side. So you see all of the who’s who
and who brings out the most people coming to visit our state.
Beyond the issues and the big names who are stumping for these two. Let’s talk about money, Cortes
Masto has raised significantly more money than Laxalt during the midterm cycle. You have a unique
perspective here having led the state’s Republican Party. Do you see an influx of money coming in for
Laxalt in the final weeks of the election?
Yes. And you have to remember, though, that Adam had a pretty contentious primary that he wasn’t
expecting. So that took a huge hit in his treasure trove. So he had to virtually start all over. But he has
one of the biggest rolodexes that I’ve ever encountered in any politician. It’s very interesting to watch.
You’ve got people who don’t even like each other, but they’ve all endorsed Adam from Mitch
McConnell, once again to Donald Trump. And we know there’s no law, no love lost between those two.
Catherine, you know, she has been she didn’t have actually very contentious primary. And when the
Social Democratic Party took over the actual Democrat Party, the establishment, they took the money,
they took the keys to the office and basically said, you know, we’re out of here, we know that you’re not
capable. And we’re going to take our money and continue to fundraise elsewhere. And that’s what she
did. But I don’t think Adams gonna be in trouble. That’s all I see. Our ads for Adam and Catherine. And
then for our two gubernatorial candidates. Speaking
of that race, that is the gubernatorial race between Democratic Governor Steve Steve, Steve Similac,
excuse me, and former Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. Are there similar factors in place keeping
Yes, I do believe so. And I think the fact that you know, once again, Steve seems to be hyper focused
on abortion. And you know, he’s pro choice where Sheriff Lombardo is pro life. But Sheriff Lombardo
wouldn’t be able to unilaterally change that law overnight. He just wouldn’t be able to. So it’s
disingenuous for the Democrats to be campaigned so hard on this particular issue here in the state of
Nevada now what Sheriff Lombardi Joe has, you know, which is a huge pro over Steve is the fact that
Steve basically fell in line with whatever California Governor Gavin Newsom did when it came to the
lockdowns into COVID. And that really angered a lot of Nevadans because it also shut down a lot of
small businesses. You mentioned at the top how, you know, we’re, we’re struggling economically, we
are probably one of the worst, if not the worst in the nation at 16%. And so, you know, this is something
that’s still being felt to this day, and you can find, you know, $6 for a gallon of gas here in the state of