About last night

Andy Matthews

As Victor noted yesterday, we at NPRI tend to steer clear of electoral politics. But we also know many of our readers and followers have a keen interest in what goes on in the political arena.

With this in mind, here’s a rundown of what happened in last night’s elections here in the Silver State. Obviously, I won’t be able to touch on every single race, but I’ll try to cover the most significant ones.

  • In what was probably the most closely watched race in the entire country, Democrat Harry Reid defeated his Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, to hold onto his U.S. Senate seat. It’s hard to call the re-election of the Senate majority leader a surprise, but most of the polling leading up to Election Day had Angle clinging to a small lead. Reid won by about 6 percentage points.
  • Dr. Joe Heck, a Republican, pulled off a narrow win over incumbent Democrat Dina Titus to capture Nevada’s third congressional district. Heck won by less than a percentage point.
  • Heck’s win produces the only change in Nevada’s congressional delegation, as Democrat Shelley Berkley (CD-1) and Republican Dean Heller (CD-2) easily won re-election to their respective House seats. Nevada’s representation in Washington, D.C., remains pretty evenly split: three Republicans and two Democrats.
  • Nevada’s statewide constitutional offices saw very little change. In fact, not one of them switched parties, and only one will even see a new face. That would be governor-elect Brian Sandoval, the Republican, who beat Democrat Rory Reid by about 12 percentage points. Sandoval will succeed the current Republican governor, Jim Gibbons, whom he beat in the primary.
  • Incumbents won in the rest of the statewide constitutional-office races: Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki (R), Secretary of State Ross Miller (D), State Treasurer Kate Marshall (D), State Controller Kim Wallin (D) and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D).
  • Republicans picked up one seat in the Nevada Senate, as Mike Roberson beat incumbent Democrat Joyce Woodhouse by about 4 percentage points in Clark County District 5. Republicans held onto all of their Senate seats, including two Clark County seats that Democrats had contested strongly: District 8, where Barbara Cegavske was re-elected, and District 9, where Elizabeth Halseth kept Dennis Nolan‘s seat in the GOP column. Democrats now have just a one-seat advantage (11 to 10) in the Senate.
  • The Assembly races saw two Republican gains: Mark Sherwood topped incumbent Democrat Ellen Spiegel in District 21, and Pete Livermore beat Democrat Robin Williamson in an open-seat contest in District 40. The Republicans held all of their seats, closing the Democrats’ advantage in the Assembly to 26-16.
  • While Democrats still control both legislative chambers, they failed to secure a two-thirds super-majority in either. This is significant because any tax increases must be passed by two-thirds of both the Assembly and the Senate, and so Republicans have the numbers to block any tax hikes during the 2011 Legislative Session. Of course, that’s not to say some Republicans won’t break ranks and give the Democrats the votes they need to raise taxes. If that does happen, it won’t be the first time.
  • Supreme Court Justices James Hardesty and Ronald Parraguirre, both of whom ran unopposed, were re-elected.

For full results (including outcomes on the ballot questions), check out SilverState2010.com.