We’ll talk about that race in a moment, but we’ll start in the United States. Specifically, we’re heading west into a state that could be ground zero for a Republican takeover in Congress in November.
When people check off the most competitive states on this year’s Senate map, their selections would likely include states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Most racing ranking experts will also list Nevada, even if it’s not a priority.
Indeed, none of the Democrats holding federal office in the silver state should feel secure about their re-election prospects this year. That includes the three House Democrats and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak also faces a tough race.
It might not be what you’d expect in a state that’s turned Democratic in the last four presidential elections, but there are some troubling trends for the party beneath the surface.
Current President Joe Biden won the state by just over 2 points in 2020. That was a slightly reduced margin from Hillary Clinton in 2016, even though he was more than 2 points better than it nationwide. Biden’s margin in Nevada was 4 points and 10 points lower than Barack Obama’s projections in 2012 and 2008.
In other words, the Republicans have narrowed the gap with the Democrats in the last two presidential elections in Nevada. In 2020, the state voted more Republican than the nation as a whole for the first time since 2004.
Territory switching in the Silver State would have been nearly unthinkable in the early 2010s. The state’s growing Hispanic population would have helped Democrats secure a presidential victory in 2008, after George W. Bush won the state in twice, and Harry Reid retained his Senate seat by a surprisingly comfortable margin in 2010.
But two combined factors in national politics make Nevada vulnerable to a Republican takeover.
The first is what made Democrats so optimistic about the state in the first place: Hispanic voters. Hispanics made up more than 15% of the vote in three states decided by 5 points or less in the 2020 election, according to exit polls that year: Arizona (19%), Florida (19%) and Nevada (17 %).
The problem for Democrats counting on Hispanic voters is that then-President Donald Trump has done better with Hispanics nationally in 2020 than any Republican since Bush in 2004. The trend among Hispanics to move away from the Democratic Party has continued under the Biden administration.
The second is perhaps more surprising: white voters without a college degree. This bloc has moved strongly in the Republican direction in recent election cycles. In some states, the move was offset by white voters with college degrees migrating to the Democratic Party.
White voters in Nevada, however, are disproportionately without a college degree. Only white voters in Wisconsin (65%) are more likely to lack a college degree than white voters in Nevada (64%) among states that were decided by 5 points or less in the 2020 presidential election .
Nevada was the only swing state to make the top three in the percentage of Hispanic voters and white voters without a college degree.
In a year that promises to be bad for Democrats nationwide, it makes sense that Cortez Matso is in big trouble against his likely Republican opponent, former state attorney general Adam Laxalt. Likewise, it follows that Sisolak is endangered.
Nevada Democrats potentially made their situation worse in the US House, given how state lawmakers carved out the map during the redistricting – a process over which Democrats had full control. Biden won the 3rd and 4th congressional districts by less than 5 points in 2020. Both seats are somewhat safer for Democrats under the new lines, although neither would have been won by Biden by more than 8 points. .
At the same time, Las Vegas’ 1st District went from having Biden winning by more than 20 points to one who would have backed him by less than 10 points.
If 2022 turns out to be a good Republican year, Democrats could retain all three House seats. If 2022 bears any resemblance to the state and federal special elections so far in 2022 — with Republicans topping Trump’s baseline by an average of 9 points — Democrats could not only lose the Senate race, but also all three. House races in Nevada.
Talk about a potential dummy.
Emmanuel Macron is favored in France, but it is not certain
Macron, the incumbent and a moderate, takes on far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a repeat of the 2017 presidential run-off. Macron gained 22 points in the last polls five years ago and gained 32 points.
This year, the polls suggest a much closer affair, thanks in large part to an issue familiar to the US president: inflation. In polls taken since the first round, Macron has gained an average of 7 points over Le Pen. But a victory for Le Pen cannot be ruled out.
Beyond the fact that there was a larger polling error (10 points) in 2017 than the current average margin, take a look at every presidential election in France since 1969. There have been nine in total , a relatively small sample.
The true margin of error, at a 95% confidence interval, is about +/- 13 points, if you were to take that small sample size into account and look at the difference between the final average of the polls and the result of these nine elections. In other words, it’s almost double Macron’s current advantage in the polls.
The fact that the race is so close may come as a surprise to some given the past elections in France. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, who shared a fairly similar policy with his daughter, lost the 2002 second round by more than 60 points to Jacques Chirac. Marine Le Pen herself halved that deficit in 2017, even though she was nowhere near winning.
This year, Le Pen has been helped by the state of the French economy
. Last month’s inflation rate was higher than at any time since 1985. More French voters cite inflation as the biggest problem for their vote than any other.
The state of the economy allowed Le Pen to take advantage of the rising tide of nationalism that has been a growing political force in Europe and America. We have seen it with Trump here in the United States. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was able to tighten his grip on power earlier this month after his party won seats in parliamentary elections.
Whether all of this is enough for Le Pen to win is a big question. That’s certainly enough to make this race too close to advertise.
For your brief encounters: Easter and Passover are two of the most observed religious holidays for American Christians and Jews.
This weekend marks Easter and the start of the Passover holiday. In the last year before the coronavirus pandemic took hold (2019), Google searches for “church” hit a one-year high just around Easter.
When it comes to Passover, more American Jews told the Pew Research Center in 2020 that they had organized or attended a Passover Seder (62%) than they had observed a life-defining ritual such as a bar or bat mitzvah (61%), fasted for at least some of Yom Kippur (46%), went to synagogue at least once a month (20%), or kept kosher at home (17%).
Brief meeting of April 10: Last week, I noted the declining popularity of baseball in the American landscape. The first Sunday night primetime game of the year on ESPN drew 2.2 million viewers, putting it in third place on cable tonight. The game was bested by an episode of “90 Day Fiancé” on TLC and a Hallmark Channel movie, which each drew 2.3 million viewers.
Remnants of surveys
Helping two generations: According to a recent Pew Research Center report, Americans between the ages of 40 and 49 were the most likely, at 54%, to have both a parent 65 or older and a child under 18 or dependent. from them for at least some financial support over the past year. In second place are the 50-59 year olds with 36%.
The youngster turns against Biden: A new Gallup report showed that Biden’s aggregate approval rating over the past seven months (September to March) among people born between 1997 and 2004 (Gen Z) fell 21 points, from 60% to 39. %, compared to the first six months. of his presidency. For comparison, it remained the same among people born before 1946 at 48%.
The Yankees rule New York: Proving that polls sometimes reveal people have horrible opinions, a new survey from Marist College has shown that more New York residents prefer the New York Yankees baseball team (43%) to the New York Mets ( 21%).