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Nevada congressional races drawing national attention

Posted at 9:49 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 01:01:48-04

The midterm election is just 32 days away and experts say Nevadans should expect to see a steady stream of political bigwigs making a stop in the Silver State.

 "Nevada is one of that fulcrum in between purple states where it could help decide the balance of power," College of Southern Nevada Political Science Professor Francis Carlton said.

In fact, the big players have already made stops in Las Vegas weeks ahead of the critical election for both parties.

Those include President Donald Trump holding a rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center and former First Lady Michelle Obama taking part in a rally herself just days later.

Politifact has identified Nevada as one of 16 states they are monitoring as the midterm election approaches, saying the Senate race between incumbent Dean Heller and Congresswoman Jacky Rosen as an important race come November.

Carlton says midterm elections are always a challenge for the sitting president.

"Often the president's party suffers in midterms," Carlton said.

FiveThirtyEight giving the Silver State a 10.8 percent chance of being the tipping point when it comes to the balance of power in the Senate with the current forecast leaning slightly Republican at 51-49.

When it comes to the house, where Nevada has two wide-open races without an incumbent, FiveThirtyEight forecasts a 21 seat advantage for Democrats.

"Right now predictions are the Democrats will probably take control of the house, but it going to be a probably remarkably narrow situation," Carlton said. 

But with all three congressional races, in the Silver State drawing the attention and donations of national political players, Carlton says how the purple state swings could be a sign for the rest of the country.

"I think Nevada acts as a barometer for the national political climate," Carlton said. "If Nevada goes Republican in those swing districts and the state then that is going to be an indicator that Republicans have done pretty well around the country."