Nevada’s Housing Crisis May Hurt Biden’s Chances in Swing State


Voters in swing-state Nevada are identifying soaring housing prices as a critical concern ahead of the 2024 election, posing a significant challenge for the Biden campaign, which trails former President Donald Trump in several polls.

Since 2016, home sale prices in Clark County, Nevada, have increased by 50%. Moreover, median rental prices in the county, home to Las Vegas, remain 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to Apartment List.

Research from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas revealed that seven of the 10 most common jobs in Las Vegas do not offer sufficient pay to afford a studio apartment. Additionally, a recent poll indicated that 51% of Nevada residents view housing as a very important issue for the upcoming presidential election, outranking concerns like abortion, climate change, the Russia-Ukraine war, or gun control.

Data suggests the housing crisis might significantly influence the 2024 presidential election. In early May, a Redfin survey highlighted that 53% of U.S. homeowners and renters believe housing affordability will impact their vote in 2024, while 64% conveyed that housing costs resulted in negative feelings about the economy.

During his latest visit to Nevada in March, President Joe Biden highlighted the $1 billion from his American Rescue Plan allocated to aid Nevada’s housing crisis. He acknowledged, “For too many people, the dream of having a good home still feels out of reach.”

As many newcomers have moved into Nevada from California, the increased demand has pushed the costs of homeownership up under a constrained housing supply.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 158,000 people relocated to Nevada from California between 2020 and 2024, accounting for 43% of all new state residents. Moreover, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles reported that around 250,000 Californians moved to Nevada between 2015 and 2019, more than from any other state.

A 2022 study by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that while Nevada’s statewide population grew by almost 434,000 residents from 2010 to 2020, the housing supply only expanded by about 131,000 homes.

Nevada’s housing crisis mirrors a national issue. Though inflation remains the top economic concern for American voters, the housing market has become a prominent issue. Mortgage rates have surged as the Federal Reserve maintains restrictive interest rates, housing prices have risen due to a supply shortage, and Zillow reported that home buyers in 2024 need 80% more income to purchase a house compared to 2020.

FILE – President Joe Biden speaks at the Washoe Democratic Party Office in Reno, Nevada, March 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

In another visit to Las Vegas in early February, Biden emphasized his commitment to unions. The visit was part of a larger strategy to strengthen support within a crucial segment of his base in Nevada: union workers. Biden has been persistent in these efforts, notably making history as the first sitting president to join United Auto Workers members on the picket line during their strike last year. His approach in Nevada, home to one of the highest union member percentages in the country, aims to continue this trend.

In 2020, Nevada was instrumental in Biden’s victory. However, recent polls show Biden trailing Trump by 12 percentage points in the state, with another poll indicating a tie.

In 2020, Biden narrowly won Nevada with 50.1% of the vote compared to Trump’s 47.7%.

Emily Hallas
Emily Hallas
Breaking News Reporter. Previously, Emily was a member of U.S. Senator Tim Scott's communications team.

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