Legendary Democratic Party strategist James Carville believes that embattled Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto must address issues other than abortion in her campaign against Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, he said Monday.
“A lot of these consultants think if all we do is run abortion spots that will win for us. I don’t think so,” Carville told the Associated Press. “It’s a good issue. But if you just sit there and they’re pummeling you on crime and pummeling you on the cost of living, you’ve got to be more aggressive than just yelling abortion every other word.”
Recent polls have shown Cortez Masto trailing Laxalt, a former state Attorney General, by between two and four points. FiveThirtyEight considers Cortez Masto the Democratic Senate incumbent most in danger of losing a reelection bid.
Underrated part here is James Carville may not be aware he is signing a constant stream of fundraising emails for Cortez Masto, despite his misgivings about her strategy expressed in piece https://t.co/vUdPoTA8vE pic.twitter.com/4G4R9lTrpC
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 10, 2022
Cortez Masto has centered her campaign on abortion access, repeatedly claiming that Laxalt will support a national abortion ban. Laxalt supports a 13-week limit on abortion, and believes the issue should be settled on a state-by-state basis, the Republican wrote in an early August Reno Gazette Journal op-ed. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Runs Away From Questions About Biden Campaigning)
In contrast, Laxalt is focusing primarily on crime and inflation. He highlighted the support of Nevada’s Fraternal Order of Police, which endorsed Cortez Masto in her 2016 race, in a recent advertisement. The ad notes Cortez Masto’s support for Department of Justice officials who oppose prosecuting certain low-level crimes, as well as her silence during the summer 2020 riots.
Latino voters, who are expected to make up one-fifth of the Nevada midterm electorate, are swinging toward the GOP, primarily due to concerns about crime and inflation. Former President Donald Trump received roughly 38% of the Latino vote in 2020. Several polls have shown that majorities of Latino voters disapprove of Joe Biden’s presidency, and that Democrats may struggle to retain support in the key demographic during the November midterms.
Carville has repeatedly inveighed against the Democrats’ left-wing shift on race and gender issues, arguing that it is causing the party to lose support among working-class voters.
“This ‘Defund the Police’ lunacy, this ‘take Abraham Lincoln’s name off the schools’ – I mean, that – people see that,” he said in the aftermath of Republican Glenn Youngkin’s upset win the 2001 Virginia gubernatorial race. “It just really has a suppressive effect all across the country. The Democrats, some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something. They’re expressing the language that people just don’t use and there’s a backlash and a frustration at that.”