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June 26, 2019

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Winners and losers of the 2016 election


Steve Marcus

Ted Mueller wears a Donald Trump mask and gives two up as the election is called for Trump during a Nevada GOP election night party at the South Point Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.

The battle for 2016 was hard fought on both sides of the aisle.

Republicans won the nation Tuesday night, but Democrats carried the state, the result of months of planning from party operatives, union leadership and progressive groups. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers.


• Donald Trump: President-elect Donald Trump ran an unconventional campaign that tapped into the deep-seated fears of the American people, from economic insecurity to looming threats of terrorism at home and abroad. Americans elected a true political outsider who promised to upend the status quo in Washington, D.C.

• Congresswoman Dina Titus: And then there were four. Titus is no longer in the minority in Nevada’s congressional delegation, with Kihuen, Rosen and Cortez Masto soon joining her. She said Tuesday night that Democrats in Congress would have a key role to play under a Trump presidency, picking their battles where they can.

• Sen. Harry Reid: This election was Reid’s swan song. He threw his weight into ensuring Catherine Cortez Masto would succeed him and backing Democrats who took back Nevada’s 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. Still, he lamented Trump’s win.

• Pot enthusiasts: Recreational marijuana will be legal in the state starting Jan. 1.

• State Senate and Assembly Democrats: After Republicans captured both houses of the Legislature in 2014, Democrats took them back this year. An 11-10 GOP advantage became an 11-10 Democratic one. Democrats also flipped 10 seats in the Assembly for a 27-15 advantage.

• TV stations: Think of all that money they made from all those ads.


• Hillary Clinton: She won the battle for Nevada by 2 points, thanks to her campaign team and party being well-organized. But it wasn’t enough to win the country, in a year that rejected the political establishment in favor of an outsider — though she appears to have won the popular vote by about 400,000.

• Congressman Cresent Hardy: The 4th District congressman had good intentions. Opponent Ruben Kihuen even acknowledged that in his acceptance speech: “He’s a good man, and even though we may disagree on the issues, I know that he went to Congress to do good for Nevada.” But ultimately, Hardy couldn’t eke out another win in his relatively blue district.

• Nevada Republicans: Democrats wrested control of two congressional seats from Republicans, and Republicans failed to flip Harry Reid’s U.S. Senate seat. Without the kind of ground game Democrats had, it was a bad year.

• Danny Tarkanian: The son of famed UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian lost his fifth election in his bid to represent Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. His campaign was reminiscent of those in years past, when he was hammered over a number of past business dealings.

• State Senate and Assembly: Republicans are back to being the underdogs at the Legislature. “Mr. Leader, congratulations on a successful effort. Looking forward to a fun session,” tweeted Michael Roberson, who leads Senate Republicans, at Democratic leader Aaron Ford. “Yep. Fun AND productive,” Ford tweeted back.

• Nevada's status as a bellwether state: 2016 is the second time since 1912 that Nevada has not voted for the winner of the presidency. The other was in 1976, when Nevada voted for losing candidate Gerald Ford.


• Nevada Democrats: It was a bittersweet election for Democrats, who delivered Hillary Clinton the state’s six electoral votes, elected Cortez Masto as the first Latina U.S. Senator, flipped two House seats and took control of the Legislature. Everything that didn’t work in 2014 worked in 2016. But, Trump still won the presidential race.

• Trump campaign in Nevada: It was out-organized here, but it didn’t matter nationally.

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