I haven’t done this in a while, but here goes: I’m following along as the election results come in. As the nation anxiously awaits the final verdict on the future balance of power on Capitol Hill, Nevadans just finished voting… And just might be the ultimate deciders.
Consider this a diary on where we are on Election Night 2018.
11:40 PM: “We made history!”
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D-Spring Valley) just declared, “We made history. We showed the world what happens when we get out and vote our values.”
Not only will Democrats keep their legislative majorities, but they might end up with more seats next year than they did last year.
Why does this matter? Now that Nevada will have a “Democratic trifecta” (as in, control of the Governor’s Mansion and both houses of the Legislature), Democrats have no more excuses. They have the opportunity to follow through on promises to boost public education investment, expand the health care infrastructure that started with Obamacare, and protect vulnerable Nevadans’ civil rights.
11:30 PM: We were here when it happened
11:15 PM: Here’s why I made the call
Simply put: There aren’t very many rural votes left. Even if Heller and Laxalt catch up in Washoe, it likely won’t be enough… And it may not even be enough for either of them to win Washoe.
Meanwhile, there are more Clark County numbers to report. And considering Democrats continue to enjoy a hefty lead here, Heller and Laxalt hardly have any opportunities to catch up by enough votes to retake the lead.
11:00 PM: And we have the winners…
I’m calling it now: Jacky Rosen wins the Senate race, and Steve Sisolak wins the Governor’s race. Democrats have solid margins in both urban county, including a big double-digit win in Clark County.
10:40 PM: Finally, Washoe
Washoe numbers: Rosen up 53-43 in early/mail. That is devastating for Heller.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 7, 2018
The swingiest of swing counties is swinging Democrats’ way in early vote returns:
I want to see Clark County numbers before I make a call. But once they start reporting, watch out.
10:00 PM: And so it (finally) begins…
The first counties have begun reporting numbers: Douglas and Churchill. Heller has big leads in both counties, though Douglas’ (65-32 Heller) is close to Hilary Clinton’s 2016 performance there.
9:40 PM: “Nevada Democrats, you left nothing on the field.”
Moments ago, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto went ahead and gave her pre-victory speech. Cortez Masto exclaimed, “You demonstrated that Democratic values are American values,” as she celebrated Democrats’ big House victory and promised to push back against Trump’s ongoing efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act and undermine civil rights protections for diverse communities.
Meanwhile, we continue to await Nevada results as Washoe County finishes processing voters who are waiting in line.
8:40 PM: “Tomorrow is a new dynamic”
The room here at Nevada State Democratic Party election night headquarters has livened up since the major networks called the House for Democrats. As House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is giving her victory speech, folks are cheering.
Thus far, Democrats are overperforming expectations in the House… Even as they underperformed somewhat in the Senate. Meanwhile, we still await Nevada results.
7:30 PM: Meanwhile, elsewhere…
D’s now winning some non Clinton districts…which is what DCCC needs to see.
Annnnd NBC now projecting Dems take the house.
GOP holds Senate and might expand margin there.
The split strategy bearing out…
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 7, 2018
It’s not ideally what many Democrats were hoping for, but it’s a far better picture for them than what was being bandied about an hour ago.
So our Senate race won’t matter all that much in terms of who controls the agenda next year, but it may determine whether Democrats have a shot at winning the Senate… In 2020.
And to his credit, Hugh Jackson was right again. Ultimately, folks across the country will be watching Susie Lee’s and Steven Horsford’s numbers to see how big Democrats’ House majority turns out to be.
And closer to home…
No results will be reported until all voters have cast their ballot. For now, bookmark https://t.co/IyzZ0RCGZp, which is our results website. We’ll let you know when we start reporting results.
— Nevada Elections (@NVElect) November 7, 2018
Hang tight, as several locations have gone into overtime to handle the long lines. We may have to wait longer for the first numbers.
7:00 PM: Now, the count begins
If you haven’t done so yet, bookmark the Secretary of State’s election results page to follow along. The Clark County early votes will likely be among the very first to go on the big board. If Jacky Rosen and Steve Sisolak are leading by around 10%, get ready for a long night. If they win the early vote by a stronger double-digit margin, we may not have to wait long to call the U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial races.
Also keep an eye on Washoe County. Republicans finally took the lead in turnout today, though it remains to be seen whether they’ll get anywhere close to the 10% turnout lead they scored in 2014 or finish around the same modest advantage they had in 2016. And keep in mind that despite Republicans’ slight turnout advantage, Hillary Clinton still carried Washoe while Catherine Cortez Masto only lost by about 1%.
Stay tuned, as things are about to get very interesting.