Democrats Start With Narrow Advantage in Nevada

Reid announced plans Friday to retire at the end of his term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s planned retirement ensures Nevada will host a top-tier Senate race in 2016.  

Reid’s announcement doesn’t expand the map for Republicans, since the Democrat was considered vulnerable for re-election to a sixth term. But the open seat is likely to be an expensive and competitive race until the end.  

We are changing The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rating of the Nevada Senate race from Leans Democratic to Tossup/Tilts Democratic.  

Without knowing the field of candidates on both sides of the aisle, the Democratic nominee should start with a narrow advantage in a presidential year. In 2012, appointed Republican Sen. Dean Heller narrowly defeated Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley, 46 to 45 percent. But it’s also unclear how much of the Democratic base in Nevada will turn out in an election without President Barack Obama or Reid on the ballot.  

Holding Nevada is important for Democrats in order for the party to gain five seats needed for the Senate majority, or four seats if they hold the White House.  

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