The Underdog in Nevada’s Senate Race

In Nevada Senate Race, Cortez Masto Fights to Hang On to His Leadership

Enlarge this image toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP Evan Vucci/AP

In the state race for the governor’s office, Dina Titus has pulled away, but she’s still not out of the game.

Nevada’s Senate race has been as close as ever. There has been just about every political pollster predicting a nail-biter. But it’s a game that is not only hard to predict, but hard to follow through on.

Some election experts say Senate candidates should just sit back and play defense, hoping that more voters who aren’t paying attention will change their minds in the final weeks.

Another theory, supported by the candidates themselves, is that Titus is not a great campaigner and she’s not a great candidate, either.

“I really think Dina Titus is not the best candidate in Nevada or in the Senate,” Dina Titus said in a recent debate. “That was never really my intent to be the best candidate. She has shown the same old, same old.”

Titus is a small woman who’s in her early 50s who was previously a state representative and a prosecutor, who lost twice in the Legislature. She is a former state senator from rural Northern Nevada.

She’s up for another Senate run, but she’s facing a challenge from Republican businessman Danny Tarkanian. And the two are neck-and-neck — no, neck and neck.

“It’s an uphill battle at the moment,” said one expert in state politics.

Nevada political consultant Joe Thorndike said Tarkanian has a solid base of support from the right-wing Tea Party base but also has some left, left-wing voters.

“They are kind of divided on Dina,” he said. “She needs to get some more of those swing voters. She hasn’t been very effective at getting them out. And she’ll need to be in some primaries.”

That’s what happens when you’re the underdog in an election that so far is mostly down to the two candidates.

In this race, there is just one other thing that has changed in the final weeks.

“In the last two weeks, the race has gotten a little more competitive,” said one voter.

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