On Wednesday, vice president Kamala Harris arrived in Las Vegas on Air Force Two. She was transported into the MGM Grand where the United Steelworkers Convention was taking place and she spoke about the inflation spending bill for around 20 minutes. After that, she held a private meeting with Nevada's strongest union, known as the Culinary Worker's Union aka UNITE HERE! before cackling through samples of union-made desserts, in the Right-to-Work state.
However, this was not your typical union meeting. Harris is on the road across the United States on what Politico calls the “How Dare They” abortion tour. Harris is working on the abortion issue as a wedge in advance of the midterm elections after Roe was ruled invalid by the Supreme Court. The White House has stated that Harris has been in contact with lawmakers from 17 states about the pro-choice issue and held a round-table meeting on Monday with “leaders” from universities around the country.
“The Vice President and the leaders discussed the confusion surrounding the patchwork of laws across the country.”
Even though state-level laws are not a part of the VP's job description, Harris thought she should continue her abortion-roundtables in Nevada, which was not smart. Abortion has been a settled issue for the past thirty-two years in Nevada since the state's voters included it in the state constitution back in 1990. Two sessions of the legislature ago, in 2019, the Trust Nevada Women Act was adopted, removing words that were deemed to be “antiquated” from the state's statutes.
One of the common sense protections which were discarded was the obligation to verify age. However, this is only a crucial safeguard for a small group of people: children. The state's most populous town, Las Vegas, serves as a sex trafficking hub. Children who are being offered abortions are often forced to deny their age in order to shield their abusers, or they may not even be questioned by medical professionals.
While many took issue with the risky rewrite of the law before it was passed, the local media has been quiet. However, when Harris was partying, three years late, they said the quiet part out loud:
“… which removed a requirement that women be told about the ’emotional implications’ of getting an abortion and removed a requirement that doctors find out the marital status and age of patients before performing abortions.”
Of course we should know the ages of the children who are seeking abortions in a sex trafficking city.
Top Dems Missed VP Visit
Harris was joined by Attorney General Aaron Ford, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, and Congressman Steven Horsford, which drew attention to the absence of the other important Democrat officials from the state. The people who were noticeably not part of the Harris celebration were Governor Steve Sisolak, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, and both Congresswomen, Dina Titus and Suzie Lee.
We're not Hitting the Mark With Hispanic Voters in Nevada
Nevada is one of the states that is regarded as purple. Elections are decided by third-party and non-partisan voters. In the last election, non-major party voter registrations outpaced both Democrat and Republican figures on voter rolls. The absence of prominent Democrat figures during the VP visit was attributed to scheduling conflicts, but it could indicate that incumbents aren't convinced that a dead issue is what economically struggling Nevadans are going to be concerned about in November.
However, Democrats don't just have problems with working-class people in Nevada. The Democrats also have problems with winning Hispanic voters.
“Nevada went from three-tenths of percentage more Democratic than the nation as a whole in 2016 to 2 points more Republican in 2020.” Nevada Democrats’ margin among Hispanics dropped by 8 points between those two elections, and the decline “was driven almost entirely by working-class Hispanics.”
To put it another way: Democrats' Hispanic voter problem is their working-class voter problem.
Recent polls indicate that the economy is the top concern for Hispanic voters, while abortion is seen as the least significant issue.
The economy was identified by 37% of survey respondents as the top issue, followed by housing (15%), social justice issues (6%), along with local issues, poverty and environment (4% each). Crime, gun violence, immigration and politics each got 3%, and abortion and education each got 2%.
The highly anticipated US Senate race between incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and GOP opponent Adam Laxalt is expected to be decided by voters who are Hispanic. It could be that the top Silver State Democrats were too busy to eat prevailing-wage desserts and discuss the state's settled law with the vice president or perhaps they didn't go because Nevada's Hispanics aren't interested in the post-Roe abortion saga.