Heller was considered one of the most endangered Republicans in the Senate — Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016. Heller also was bruised by the Obamacare repeal debate last year. First, he aligned himself with Nevada’s overwhelmingly popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and said he wouldn’t support a repeal bill if Sandoval was against it. But after some pressure from President Donald Trump, he eventually caved and voted to repeal Obamacare — which might have come back to hurt him in this election.
Rosen is a moderate Democrat who has emphasized her record of working across the aisle with Republicans to achieve bipartisan goals. But she’s more progressive on immigration — she supports passing a clean DREAM Act and hopes to win over some of Nevada’s Latino population.
Ultimately her Latino outreach, voter concerns about health care, and the state Democratic Party’s strong infrastructure helped Rosen, a freshman member of Congress and former synagogue president, sail to victory.
This race was also one of the most expensive of the year; the campaigns spent a combined $75 million in a state of just 4 million residents.