|Nevada Independent/MellmanNevada Independent||4/12 - 4/19||600 LV||4.0||40||39||Heller +1|
Nevada is really little more than a city-state. At statehood, it was a collection of small silver mining towns, with the population clustering around Carson City in the north. Today, 86 percent of its votes are cast in the Las Vegas and Reno/Sparks metro areas, with 75 percent of the votes coming from Clark County (Las Vegas) alone. Moreover, these have been some of the fastest growing urban areas in the United States. The state's politics are thus typically in flux, with politicians having to reintroduce themselves to a whole new slate of voters every cycle.
This already tempestuous political situation was thrown further into turmoil when the Las Vegas real estate market collapsed. In 2008, this allowed Barack Obama to win a huge victory in a place that typically had close elections. In 2010 it looked as though this dynamic would claim Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, but the party's misstep in nominating Sharron Angle, and Angle's gaffes and misstatements on the campaign trail allowed Reid to survive for another six years, despite being massively unpopular.
Nevada’s Democratic trend has slowed over the past few cycles, but it still leans a touch to the left. Democrats are optimistic about their chances here. Their candidate is candidate Jacky Rosen, who won an open seat in a swing district in 2016. Republican Senator Dean Heller narrowly won against a flawed Democratic opponent in 2012. But in addition to the national environment, he faces a challenge from the right from Danny Tarkanian, who lost to Rosen in 2016. This seat starts as a tossup, but could quickly shift to Lean D status.