New Nevada Poll Numbers Are Mixed

By Jim Ellis

Nevada-mapJuly 3, 2018 — Gravis Marketing released their latest Nevada statewide poll (June 23-26; 630 likely Nevada voters “using an online panel of cell phone users and interactive voice responses”), and the findings provide some uptakes for both political parties.

According to the Gravis results, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson) assumes a 45-41 percent lead over Sen. Dean Heller (R) in the critical US Senate race, while Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt edges Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, 43-41 percent in the open governor’s race.

We see mixed results throughout the poll on the underlying questions, thus leading one to believe that the two key Nevada campaigns are pure toss-ups.

Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) continues to post approval ratings that make him the most popular public official in the state. The Gravis favorability index posts the governor at 62:29 percent positive to negative. President Trump, not surprisingly from a state that he lost 48-45 percent, has a 43:53 percent upside-down job approval ratio. Interestingly, however, his approval numbers among Hispanics are dead even, with 46favorability approving of his job performance and an additional 46favorability disapproving. His numbers among White/Caucasian respondents are similar to what is found among Hispanics, 49:50favorability.

Where the president badly falls, thus accounting for his 10-point deficit, is among African Americans (12:87 percent) and Asians (26:73 percent). Additionally, the Trump numbers are extremely polarized, a pattern seemingly present in every poll. Among those who say they are “very conservative”, the president scores a 91 percent favorability rating. Conversely, within the “very liberal” respondent cell, his positive score is 8.5 percent.

Sen. Heller’s approval ratings provide us a clue about where some of his weakness lies. His overall job approval index is 11 points upside down at 37:48 percent. Heller ranks below the state’s junior senator, first-term member Catherine Cortez Masto (D), who posts a 42:38 percent score. The Republican incumbent clearly needs stronger support from his political base. According to Gravis, his approval among self-identified Republicans is only 65:28 percent. By contrast, President Trump posts an 81:16 percent mark.

But, the partisan ballot test support factor is commensurate for both sides. Sen. Heller’s posts a 70-13 percent mark among Republicans with 16 percent saying they have not made a decision. For Rep. Rosen, her percentage among Democrats is 72-18 percent, with 9.5 percent uncommitted.

In the governor’s race, AG Laxalt clings to a small two-point lead, but at least part of the result suggests that he has more room to grow. While garnering 91 percent among those who call themselves as “very conservative” (Sisolak registers four percent here), he finds 23.2 percent of those describing themselves as “somewhat conservative” saying they plan to vote for Commissioner Sisolak with 12.5 percent professing to be “uncertain” or refusing to respond. By contrast, only 10 percent of those saying they are “somewhat liberal” plan to vote for Laxalt. But, among this group, 27.3 percent say they are uncertain or refuse to respond.

Testing how national political figures may affect the respondents’ future vote, 43 percent of the entire sampling universe say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to impeach President Trump, while 45 percent say they would be less likely to support such a contender.

At least one question in the poll (Q 11) addressed a non-Nevada issue — the subject of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi returning to the Speaker’s chair: 30 percent of those polled said they would be more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who would support her for the House’s top position, while 45 percent would be less inclined to back a candidate who would do so. Take a look at the numbers presented by Gravis as published on: Real Clear Politics.

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