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Abstract

This paper examines Catherine Cortez Masto's appeals to Latino Voters over her three statewide elections in nevada. Cortez Masto made headlines in 2016 when she became the first Latina elected to the United States Senate. Her strategy in the Senate race largely relied on winning wide margins among Latino voters. To accomplish this, she spoke heavily about her heritage, campaigned with Latino organizations, made immigration her signature issue, and used Spanish-language appeals. This contrasted her two statewide elections, Nevada Attorney General in 2006 and 2010. In these races, she rarely mentioned her heritage, did not make specific issue appeals to Latinos, and did not campaign in heavily Latino areas. In this paper, I use a comparative lens to analyze the factors that caused a shift in the importance of winning to the Latino vote in Cortez Masto's elections. This includes: demographic shifts in Nevada, differences between the positions of Nevada Attorney General and US Senator, the composition of Cortez Masto's campaign teams, and the national political landscape.

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