Las Vegas US Rep. Dina Titus in a Dead Heat for Re-Election, Survey Says

Could US Rep. Dina Titus, Nevada’s most senior Democrat on Capitol Hill, be in jeopardy of losing her seat? A recent poll by the Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) and The New York Times says yes.

US Rep. Dina Titus speaks during a get-out-the-vote rally Friday at the East Las Vegas Community Center. Titus, seeking her sixth term in Washington, is facing her toughest re-election campaign ever as she goes against Republican challenger Mark Robertson. (Image: Dina Titus/Twitter)

On Friday, the Siena/NYT poll showed Titus, who was first elected to represent Nevada’s 1st Congressional District (NV-1) in 2012, was in a statistical dead heat with Republican challenger Mark Robertson, 47-%-47%. The poll surveyed 399 likely voters in the Las Vegas area district and has a margin of error of 5.9%.

There are several factors why Titus, who won her first five races by an average margin of 29.6 percentage points, is in a dogfight. Perhaps the most significant is the remapping of the state’s four districts after the 2020 Census. Titus’ district went from covering the heart of Las Vegas to covering more suburban areas. It still includes the Las Vegas Strip and parts of Downtown Vegas. However, the new map also includes places like Henderson and Boulder City.

As The Nevada Independent points out, that shift alone makes the district more competitive. Democrats outnumber Republicans 36% to 26%, but that leaves 38% not affiliated with either major party.

Each hold at least 93% support from their own party, but in this district that Biden would have won with 53% (in 2020), independents are supporting Robertson 51-37%,” SCRI Director Don Levy said in a statement.

If Robertson succeeds, it strengthens the Republican Party’s chances of taking over as the majority party in the US House. At PredictIt, traders there strongly believe that will be the case as shares for a GOP winning control on Nov. 8 are selling at 91 cents, which is the equivalent of -1000 odds.

PredictIt, however, does not offer a market on the NV-1 race.

Gaming Caucus Co-Chair

In Washington, Titus also serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, which includes representatives from several states where casinos and other forms of gaming are legal.

One of her main issues in Congress has been to raise the tax reporting threshold on slot machine winnings. It has not been adjusted from $1,200 since 1977. Titus and other lawmakers believe the limit needs to be $5,000.

Earlier this year, Titus and her caucus colleagues wrote a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the Justice Department “make a concerted effort” to target offshore online sportsbooks operating in the US. She also has tried to eliminate the .25% federal excise tax placed on all legal sports wagers.

Gaming Union Backs Incumbent

As a Democrat, Titus enjoys strong support from organized labor in Nevada. That includes backing from the Culinary Union, which represents casino workers in Las Vegas and across the state.

With Election Day now less than 10 days away and early voting underway in Nevada, the Culinary Union has increased its efforts to canvass for Titus and other candidates the labor group supports. Last week, the group announced it had surpassed its 2020 total of knocking on 650,000 doors during the 2022 campaign and are on track to hit 1 million homes this year.

“We are proud to get out the vote for political leaders who will continue to fight to protect working families,” said Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge. “We have the most pro-worker representatives we have ever had in our lifetimes.”

Over the weekend, US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) flew in to the state and meet with union canvassers and attend a get-out-the-vote rally.

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