Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 | 2:23 a.m.
Two of Nevada’s four congressional districts were expected to be won by thin margins Tuesday night, while it was assumed the other two races would be blowouts.
It turned out all four races were lopsided victories.
As part of a statewide blue wave, Democrat Steven Horsford defeated Republican Cresent Hardy by more than 20,000 votes, good for a 9 percentage point win in the 4th Congressional District.
Democrat Susie Lee, meanwhile, notched an 8-point victory over Republican Danny Tarkanian in the 3rd Congressional District.
Horsford’s win was a rematch of their 2014 election in which Hardy won by 3 points. Nevada Democrats now hold five of the state’s six federal congressional offices.
Of the four congressional races, CD4 was polling the closest, according to Real Clear Politics. A Nov. 10 poll from Emerson College had Horsford 4 points ahead, within the poll’s margin of error.
“This community was there for me when I needed them the most,” Horsford said during his victory speech at Caesars Palace. “Thank you for being there for me, for believing in me.”
Lee’s 8-point victory, knocking Tarkanian to an 0-for-7 all-time record as a state or federal candidate, also made a strong statement in a traditionally purple district.
The first-time congresswoman-elect was polling just 2 points ahead of the perennial Republican candidate in early October, according to an Emerson College poll.
“I am honored that voters have put their trust in me to deliver fresh leadership,” Lee said, “and I am grateful to all of the friends, family and volunteers who have made this victory possible.”
“Susie brings to Congress a long record of serving Nevada’s children and deep experience in advancing the cause of educational quality and equality for all,” said William McCurdy, chairman of the Nevada Democratic Party. “In Susie Lee, Nevadans will have a congresswoman who will fight to defend protections for pre-existing conditions, to strengthen health care, to expand educational opportunities and to improve the lives of all Nevadans.”
Democrats took back the House for the first time in eight years Tuesday, providing a check to the previously Republican controlled legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Democrats won more than two dozen GOP-held districts in suburbs across the nation on the way to securing the 218 seats needed for a majority. As of 1 a.m., several races had yet to be called, meaning the Democratic majority could still increase.
While Republicans grew their lead nationally in the Senate, the flipping of the House will allow Democrats to chair committees capable of forcing Trump to release his tax returns. Democrats have long-sought that information, despite Trump’s refusal to release them on the campaign trail in 2015.
The Democratic leadership could also force a more aggressive investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and verify accusations of collusion with the eastern European nation by the Trump campaign.
As Nevada’s two most hotly contested districts came down to a close finish, its other two districts featured expected blowouts by incumbent candidates.
Longtime former UNLV professor and Nevada legislator Dina Titus easily won her fourth straight term in Nevada’s 1st Congressional District. The Democrat incumbent routed Republican challenger Joyce Bentley by 34 points, with over 65 percent of the vote.
Third-party candidates Dan Garfield, an independent, and Robert Strawder, a Libertarian, each collected less than 2 percent of the vote.
In Northern Nevada, Republican Mark Amodei cruised past Democrat Clint Koble to retain Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District seat, also for a fourth straight term.
Amodei, a 13-year former state legislator, collected 58.5 percent of the vote, with Koble garnering the other 41.5 percent.