Republicans cancel airtime in swing Vegas district

Republicans cancel airtime in swing Vegas district
© Greg Nash/Getty

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has canceled more than $1.2 million in late advertising in the expensive Las Vegas media market, a sign the party no longer has confidence it can win a key swing seat.

The NRCC had spent about $3 million on advertisements bolstering former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R), who is making a bid to return to Congress after losing his seat in 2016.

Hardy faces a rematch against the man he beat in 2014, former Rep. Steven HorsfordSteven Alexander HorsfordNevada New Members 2019 Poll: Rosen leads Heller by 4 points in Nevada Senate race Bloomberg quietly spends millions in TV ads MORE (D). The rematch is taking place after the current incumbent, Rep. Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus KihuenEthics panel reprimands Freedom Caucus chairman over handling of harassment allegations Ethics committee sanctions retiring Dem lawmaker over sexual harassment allegations Nevada New Members 2019 MORE (D), is not seeking reelection after a single term in the face of allegations of improper behavior toward a staffer.

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The district, based in North Las Vegas and stretching into rural counties across the southern half of Nevada, favored Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTexas history curriculum to emphasize that slavery played 'central role' in Civil War Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority Texas education board approves restoring Hillary Clinton in history curriculum MORE by a narrow 49 percent to 45 percent margin over President TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE in 2016.

The only public poll in the race, conducted last week by Emerson College, showed Horsford with a narrow 36 percent to 34 percent lead.

Privately, Republicans have said the race is not as close. One senior Republican official said the NRCC decided to move its money simply because it is needed in too many other places.

The Las Vegas media market has become one of the most heated television environments in the country in recent months, as Democrats and Republicans fight for two open U.S. House seats and in a competitive Senate contest and a blistering race for governor.

Supporters and opponents of a ballot measure to deconstruct the state’s energy monopoly have also spent tens of millions of dollars on advertising in Las Vegas, making it one of the most expensive markets in the nation.

Nevada’s 4th District was created after the 2010 census and the subsequent reapportionment process. Horsford, Hardy and Kihuen are the only three people to have held the seat.

Republican groups previously canceled their planned advertising in the second open seat, south of Las Vegas, after they lost faith in businessman Danny Tarkanian’s (R) ability to beat philanthropist Susie Lee (D).