With five months until Election Day, Nevada Republicans have an unusual bit of pep in their step. Emboldened by President Joe Biden’s consistent statewide polling deficit and Army veteran Sam Brown’s campaign against freshman Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen, there’s a growing sense of excitement that the party could be headed for its best showing in the Silver State since former President George W. Bush’s three-point victory in 2004.

Yet even with GOP optimism swirling in spades, there’s a quiet consensus that they can’t beat the House.

In 2021, Democrats rolled the dice on a gerrymander that sliced the Las Vegas Valley into thirds and kept their three incumbents on relatively friendly terrain. That gamble paid off: Reps. Steven Horsford, Susie Lee and Dina Titus all secured reelection in 2022 by anywhere from four to six points despite considerable GOP investment. Not even Republican Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony, who was elected statewide by four points further up the ballot, managed to carry any of the three districts in his win — a testament to how rigidly the new boundaries favor Democrats.

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