Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This incumbent has had two different spells in Congress, having won a district in 2012 only to be ousted in 2014 in his first run. In 2018, he came back to Congress after helping oust a scandal plagued incumbent. Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada’s 4th district is in jeopardy of being ousted again in 2022, which is why Majority Savers heads back to Las Vegas to highlight him!
This section isn’t meant to be an all access pass to the life of Steven Horsford. HERE is where you can find that information if you want to know more about him.
- Horsford is a Las Vegas native, and he has been working very hard to support his family since his teenaged years. He lost his father to gun violence at a young age, and didn’t finish his college degree until he was in Congress due to that tragedy.
- He was the CEO of a culinary training company in the 1990s, as well as an advertising executive. He served on the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Board. This likely gave him the connections to eventually run for political office.
- Horsford first won office in 2004 to the Nevada State Senate, eventually rising to Majority Leader in 2009. This garnered the attention of Sen. Harry Reid and primed him to run for Nevada’s 4th district once 2012 rolled around.
Rep. Steven Horsford is a liberal in Congress, being right in the middle of our entire Democratic caucus. According to DW Nominate, he has a score of -0.347, which puts him as more liberal than 68% of the entire House membership. He is slightly more conservative than the median Democratic member of Congress at 61% more conservative. That’s a pretty good record for someone in a swing seat! His priorities reflect those of the progressives as well.
Health Care and Abortion: Having undergone major heart surgery, Horsford is particularly keen on protecting the ACA and the pre-existing conditions protections provided by it. He’s looking to expand Medicaid and also cap costs in any reasonable way possible, such as by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices. He also supports the right to choose and codifying Roe into law.
Education: Horsford is for expanding after school, summer school, and other programs to ensure that Nevadans will get the primary education that they need to be successful. He is very big on vocational school and affordable college, and even is willing to cancel $15,000 of student debt.
Crime and Gun Safety: Horsford argues that community based programs similar to the one he went through are effective at reducing crime, and he is a proponent of those in Congress. His personal tragedy of losing his father at a young age also leads him to call for gun safety measures.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 53.0%, TFG (R-inc) 44.8%
2020 House: Steven Horsford (D-inc) 50.7%, Jim Marchant (R) 45.8%
2022 Race Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: D+3
Nevada’s 4th district has only existed for a decade, and boy, what an interesting decade it has been. The district was meant to be a Democratic leaning swing seat, and that is how it acted in 2012 when Steven Horsford and Barack Obama both won the district comfortably. It was thought that Horsford would quickly entrench himself and that would be all.
2014 was a nasty surprise, as the Reid machine failed to work and Horsford was unceremoniously drummed out by little known Cresent Hardy in an upset. Rep. Hardy didn’t last long, only serving one term because the Reid machine hand picked Ruben Kihuen to oust him in 2016. Clinton only narrowly won the district that year, and Kihuen very narrowly won back the seat.
It turned out that Rep. Kihuen had sexual harassment issues, and he was forced to retire only two years later. That allowed an old face in Steven Horsford to win the primary in 2018 and reclaim back this district for himself. Former Rep. Cresent Hardy also tried to regain the seat, but the blue wave in 2018 gave Horsford quite the cushion, and Horsford easily won that year.
2020 proved that this district wasn’t as Democratic as first advertised, as Joe Biden only won 51-47% under the old lines. Horsford won by roughly the same score over insurrectionist State Rep. Jim Marchant, which is why Horsford will have a fight on his hands in the fall of 2022 against businessman Sam Peters. While his district is better than before, it is still vulnerable.
Political Tour of the District
This district covers more of the Las Vegas metro area than before, which is why it is also much more amenable to Rep. Steven Horsford. However, there are still plenty of voters attached to the district in the Cow Counties, and they will all predominately vote against him. Hopefully enough of the Reid machine still exists to turnout folks in Vegas to counteract the Cow Counties.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 4th district.
- North Las Vegas: This suburb of Las Vegas is the political base of Horsford, and also the area he needs to work to turn out all of his voters. The city is home to many of the black and Hispanic workers at the casinos, and it is important the Reid machine makes sure the vote firewall is created successfully or this district will fall to the GQP.
- Central Las Vegas: While not as Democratic as the previous area, central Las Vegas is also home to many workers who are employed at the casinos. Horsford is new to many of these constituents, so he will have to introduce himself and rely on the union vote to create a big firewall in order to weather the unfavorable portions of the district.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Northwestern Las Vegas: This portion of Las Vegas is majority white, and it votes heavily for the GQP. Horsford will need to keep the margins in this portion of Las Vegas as narrow as possible in order to avoid defeat. There were blue precincts out this far, but not many of them.
- Cow Counties: These counties are hopelessly and lopsidedly red, so Horsford cannot waste time catering to them. The Pahrump area in particular has been growing like mad, and it is staying beet red at the same time. We just have to hope turnout is low out in the boondocks.
Activism — Help How You Can!
Rep. Steven Horsford knows that he is in for a competitive race, and his fundraising totals reflect that. He raised $506k in Quarter 1, which frankly needs to improve. His saving grace is that his GQP opponent, Sam Peters, only raised $135k for the quarter. Dark money will flood the race to close the gap, which is why Horsford needs to up his fundraising game ever so slightly.
It is cash on hand where Horsford has a clear advantage, because he has had two years to refill his campaign coffers. He has $1.94 MILLION cash on hand, which should be an excellent start in the Las Vegas media market. His foe, Sam Peters, only has $204k on hand and had a nasty primary to get through. Dark money will flood this race, which is why I think Horsford needs some donations.
DONATE TO REP. STEVEN HORSFORD HERE
The state party in Nevada was in shambles, with infighting amongst the leftist faction in charge and the remnants of the Reid machine. With that in mind, you are probably best served by volunteering for the political campaigns directly, and you can do so for Horsford at https://www.stevenhorsford.com/
Horsford has a healthy 13k followers on Twitter, which is likely a combined total between his runs for office and him being prominent in Nevada politics since the Obama era. You can get updates from him by following Horsford on Twitter too!
Horsford also is on Facebook at stevenhorsford and on Instagram at stevenahorsford. Go ahead and check them out!
Rep. Steven Horsford is in for a tough race, but unlike 2014 I doubt he will be caught napping. This is why Majority Savers is highlighting his race now, so that awareness is brought to more people that he is a representative worth saving. Thank you for reading this far down, and thank you all for all of the support you have given me through nearly 30 articles now! 30 down, about 70 to go!
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