Democratic House incumbents poised to survive redistricting gambit

By: - November 10, 2022 8:36 pm

Nevada Democratic Reps. Steven Horsford, Susie Lee and Dina Titus on stage at a rally featuring Barack Obama in North Las Vegas Nov. 1, 2022. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

In the first election since congressional districts were redrawn, three Nevada incumbent U.S. House Democrats have declared victory, while Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei is on pace to win by his largest margin since being elected in 2012. 

U.S. Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee, and Steven Horsford declared victory Thursday. Each had narrow leads over their Republican challengers, but those leads are expected to grow as Clark County’s remaining mail-in ballots are counted. 

This year’s election is the first since Nevada Democrats redrew the political maps to move more Democrats into Congressional Districts 3 and 4 while still protecting historically safe Congressional District 1.

In previous election cycles, CD1 was routinely called early and ended with double digit leads. In 2020, she won by 30 points.

This year, Titus was challenged by Mark Robertson, a retired army colonel and certified financial planner.

Horsford, who represents the CD4, is ahead over Sam Peters, a retired U.S. Air Force Major who was endorsed by the far-right Freedom Caucus. 

Lee, vying to secure a third term representing the CD3, is challenged by Republican April Becker, a real estate attorney. 

Several House races nationwide have yet to be called, but it is clear that while Republicans are still projected to win control of the chamber, it will not be by the wide margins that some projections had indicated. That means control of the House could hinge on a relatively few seats, including congressional districts in Nevada.

National Republican groups had targeted all three Democratic seats as vulnerable.

Nearly a year before the election, Titus warned all three Democrats were vulnerable to losing the midterm elections and blamed Nevada lawmakers for redistricting.   

CD1 was redrawn to move a sizable number of Democrats into CD3 and CD4, which were seen as more competitive districts at the time.

In a town hall with union members in December 2021, Titus also chastised her fellow Democrats for risking her district in an attempt to bolster Democratic positions in the other two. 

Amodei, who has represented the solidly red CD2 since 2012, appears to have slightly increased his margin and could win by more than 26 points.

He cruised to an easy victory after defeating Democrat Elizabeth Mercedes Krause, Independent American Russell Best and Libertarian Darryl Baber. The Associated Press called the race for Amodei early Wednesday morning. 

Amodei won by more than 20 points in his first two election cycles. His lowest margin was in 2020 when he only won by 15 points.

CD1 has always favored Democrats by double digit returns with 2018 and 2016 netting around 30 point leads for Titus.

Titus survived the 2014 Republican red wave that cost Democratic seats up and down the ballots including Horsford in CD4, who lost against Republican Cresent Hardy.

Titus’s margin of victory dipped to just slightly under 20% that year.

Horsford regained his seat in 2018 beating Hardy, who was seeking to reclaim the seat after being ousted in 2016, by 15 points. In 2020, Horsford won by 11 points.

Following the 2020 election, Peters falsely claimed Former President Donald Trump won and “tweeted “Trump won Georgia. And likely NV. And definitively PA.” 

During a debate with Horsford in October, he said he accepted that Biden won in 2020. 

Since its creation after the 2000 census, CD3 has always been seen as the most competitive congressional district in the state. 

Trump won the district in 2016, but it has been held by Democrats for three consecutive terms. 

Lee won her first election by 9 points and her second by about 3 points. 

Becker,  Lee’s opponent, previously ran for a state Senate seat in 2020 but lost to Democratic Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro. 

After losing, Becker filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking a new election over unfounded allegations of voter inaccuracies.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues.