What Wins Up and Down the Ballot in Nevada Tell Us for 2020 and Beyond
Nevada witnessed historic wins up and down the ballot last night. These victories were a rebuke to the Trump/Republican agenda that was pushed by Adam Laxalt, Dean Heller, Wes Duncan, Danny Tarkanian and extreme candidates up and down the ballot. After this historic election night, Nevada is now represented by two female Senators, has elected their first Democratic Governor since 1999, added to the pro-choice majority in the State legislature with a super majority in the House. These victories proved once again that pro-choice candidates can run and win on their support for reproductive freedom. Abortion access and reproductive freedom was a key issue in races across Nevada.
By making their support for reproductive rights a focal point of their campaigns, Jacky Rosen, Steve Sisolak, Aaron Ford, and Kate Marshall built a strong coalition that assisted in wins by large margins. The results playing out in Nevada were not a solo trend. Across the nation from Virginia to Washington State, from Iowa to Pennsylvania, we saw Democrats sweeping wins from Governor’s mansions to flipping state houses, to securing victories for ballot initiatives that further protect our basic human rights.
The lesson for 2019, 2020 and beyond is clear: embracing reproductive freedom and fighting for the right of women and families to determine their own destinies is a winning issue.
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM WAS A KEY TO WINS BY ROSEN, SISOLAK
Candidates won by considerable margins in the general election
Rosen won by 5 points
Sisolak won women by 4 points
Democratic voters were enthusiastic and turned out in record-breaking numbers
Nevada is now one of the only states to ever be represented by two female Senators simultaneously
Candidates gained support in part because they embraced a platform to expand and protect abortion access
Jacky Rosen, Steve Sisolak, and other NARAL endorsed candidates have spent their careers fighting for the rights of women and families.
Jacky Rosen embraced NARAL’s endorsement from day one, and consistently made fighting for reproductive healthcare and abortion a focal point of her campaign
Steve Sisolak pledged to protect funding and access to abortion and women’s healthcare as Governor, even filming a campaign ad with his daughter that doubled down on his commitment to putting women’s healthcare first
Sisolak, Rosen, and Ford also made reproductive rights a key part of their paid messaging strategy:
In Sisolak’s ad, “Dad”, he and his two daughters explain the need to support Planned Parenthood and fight for women’s healthcare in Nevada
Jacky Rosen filmed a video thanking NARAL members for working to protect reproductive rights in Nevada. Rosen: “A woman’s ability to plan her family and control her future is an economic issue.” “As Nevada’s next Senator, I look forward to working with NARAL to defend women’s rights and reproductive freedom.”
Aaron Ford released an ad, “Midwife”, that slammed Wes Duncan for being aligned with Trump on working to outlaw abortion in Nevada, despite a majority of Nevadans wanting to keep abortion legal.
II. WINS IN NEVADA SOLIDIFY WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW — ABORTION IS A WINNING ISSUE UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Not just in Nevada, but across the nation, voters overwhelmingly support abortion access.
74% of Nevadans believe that abortion should remain safe and legal (LINK)
This is in line with the 7 in 10 Americans who believe a woman should be able to make her own personal healthcare decisions and that includes her decision to access an abortion.
86% of Democratic voters oppose limiting abortion access. This support is even more pronounced amongst women, particularly women of color, who have always been core to the Democratic base.
What’s more, 53% of Republicans want to uphold the protections that Roe v. Wade provides to women and families
III. NARAL MEMBERS WERE AN EARLY FORCE FOR CANDIDATES FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TICKET IN NEVADA
NARAL members endorsed pro-choice champions early and worked hard for them through the cycle. After launching the largest ever midterm political program in NARAL’s history, the organization invested in diverse candidates up and down the ballot across the country, mobilizing members and voters through mail, phones, digital ads, door to door canvassing, TV ads, and rallies that hold anti-choice candidates accountable and lift up pro-choice champions. Nevada was a key state where pro-choice wins were crucial. From holding phone banks every single Tuesday, to hosting Feminist Happy Hour, to knocking hundreds of doors per week, NARAL members across Nevada have truly energized and mobilized voters at higher rates than ever before. Over the course of the campaign, our members:
Knocked 6,842 doors
Made 6,796 calls to voters
Completed 284 Member canvass shifts
NARAL Nevada members turned out in droves to canvass for Jacky Rosen in Reno
NARAL Proudly Supported State Legislature Candidates Across the State of Nevada
NARAL Nevada endorsed 31 state legislative candidates, and dug in deep from the beginning of the election cycle to ensure that Nevadans had the best champions representing them in Carson City. Not only did NARAL members help to keep the legislature in Democratic hands, we grew the majority by flipping 2 State Senate seats and 2 Assembly seats. In total, 93% of NARAL endorsed state legislative candidates won their races. With one State Senate race still too close to call, 28 of NARAL’s 31 endorsed candidates won their races.
IV. NARAL IS BUILDING POWER IN NEVADA AS WE HEAD INTO 2019 and 2020
As we head into 2019 and 2020, campaigns should embrace the critical lessons learned from wins in Nevada — when candidates are unapologetic, pro-choice champions and run on a platform of making reproductive freedom a reality for all, we win. NARAL has spent the last several years building power across the state of Nevada, digging deep to ensure that we don’t just elect pro-choice champions, but support them, aid them in passing legislation that protects the reproductive rights and freedoms of women and families and gives them the resources they need to succeed.
NARAL members are heading into 2019 and 2020 with an historic level of momentum and will continue serving as a support system to the candidates who fight for the rights and freedom of all, and holding accountable those who exist to attack our ability to make our own personal healthcare decisions.