Poll: Nevada Democrats in Trouble Heading into 2022

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak during a press conference on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in the former Assembly chambers inside the State Capitol in Carson City, Nev. Nevada's part-time Legislature concluded an emergency special session early Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, after passing a slew of policies that address issues that have …
David Calvert/Nevada Independent via AP, Pool

Nevada Democrats will see trouble in the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races heading into the midterm elections next year, as Republican challengers are within a few points of Democrat incumbents, according to a recent hypothetical 2022 poll.

The Nevada Independent poll shows Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) with only a slight lead of two points — within the four-point margin of error — against former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), 45.8 percent to 43.3 percent, respectively.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) concedes his race against U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) at the Nevada Republican Party's election results watch party at the South Point Hotel & Casino on November 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Dean Heller (David Becker/Getty Images).

Sisolak showed even less of a lead, a virtual tie with less than a percentage lead — well within the four-point margin of error — against Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, 44.9 percent to 44.4 percent, respectively. 

More respondents viewed the governor unfavorably (48 percent unfavorable to 46 percent favorable) and his response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic negatively (59 percent negative to 38 percent positive).

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), among the respondents, only carries less than half a percent lead outside the margin of error against Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Nevada and former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, 45.5 percent to 41.2 percent, respectively. 

In this Jan. 11, 2019, file photo, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., talks to reporters in her office in Reno, Nev. Democrats hoping to capture Senate control next year face a far more promising map than last year, when they had to defend most of the seats that were in play. “It’s trending in our favor, and I think we’ve got an opportunity to take back the majority in the Senate,” said Cortez Masto. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., talks to reporters in her office in Reno (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File).

More of the respondents viewed Cortez Masto favorably (42 percent favorable to 37 percent unfavorable).

The Independent noted that the results from this poll should be a sign for the Democrats in Nevada, making Nevada an actual swing state since 2016 where the Democrats have won the majority of the “top-line races in the state.”

“Each race has its own individual dynamics, individual candidates, individual faux paus people make,” pollster Mark Mellman said about the poll over the weekend. “But what we see so far, as we said at the outset, are a set of what are likely to be very close, very competitive, very tough races.”

“Nevada is and will be a competitive battleground state. It was in 2018, it was in 2020 and it will be in 2022,” John Anzalone, the governor’s pollster, told Politico. “It will be a very competitive race that we are not taking for granted.”

The poll of 600 likely Nevada voters for the Independent was conducted by the Mellman Group, a Democrat polling firm, between September 15 and 22 and has a margin of error of four percentage points.

The poll surveyed percent were registered Republicans, 35 percent registered as Democrats, and 35 percent registered as nonpartisan or with another party.

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Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.

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