Statistical ties in top Nevada races


Meet Mike Graziano. He met News 3's Jeff Gillan during his unscientific survey to gauge public opinion in front of the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson.

News 3 asked him if he’s made up his mind on the top races in our approaching midterm election.

“No, I've only just kind of skimmed over the people that are running so far,” Graziano says, admitting he has some homework to do.

He's an undecided voter and could be the hottest commodity in Nevada politics. That is because our top races are essentially tied, according to a new poll released Tuesday, and the scramble will be on for the votes of all the Mikes out there.

The poll, done for the Reno Gazette-Journal by Suffolk University, talked to 500 Nevada residents between September 5th through the 10th; almost two-thirds were from Clark County. The margin-of-error is +/- 4.4 percent.

The poll shows a statistical dead heat in both the races for Governor and U.S. Senate.

In the Senate race, Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada has the slimmest of leads over Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, 41.6 percent to 41.2 percent, statistically a tie, with 9.4 percent undecided. Two months ago, a Gazette-Journal poll also showed a photo-finish, with Heller leading 41 percent to 40 percent.

The tight margin is no surprise to the Democrat.

“Well, Nevada's a purple state,” Rosen said. “Fifty-six days to go - we're gonna fight for every vote,” she says.

In the race for Governor, Democrat Steve Sisolak leads Republican Adam Laxalt by two points, 37.4 percent to 35.4 percent, with 15.2 percent undecided. In July, Laxalt led 41.6 percent to 41 percent.

The latest poll also shows Ryan Bundy, running as a non-partisan and whose family is known for their fight with the federal government, nearly doubling his support, getting 4.2 percent.

“It’s clear that our message is resonating with Nevadans,” the Sisolak campaign said today in a statement. “Despite months of attacks and millions spent by the Koch network, voters know the truth – Steve will be the Governor who always puts Nevada families and their priorities first.”

The Laxalt Campaign also reacted to the latest numbers.

“We’re energized by all of the grassroots momentum that we’ve got in this race and support from 75 percent of all county commissioners, a bipartisan majority of mayors, Nevada’s largest small business association, and more. Just today we earned the endorsement of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the single largest chamber in Nevada,” said Laxalt spokesperson Parker Briden.

In the Senate race, more than 9 percent are undecided, a slight uptick from July. In the Governor’s race, however, the number of undecideds more than doubled, from 7.4 percent in July to just over 15 percent in September.

“With so many Nevadans still undecided, we know this is going to be a close race – which is why we’re working hard to earn every vote in every corner of the state,” says the Laxalt campaign.

The Gazette-Journal poll included other nuggets: Question 3, which would open up competition in Nevada’s electricity market, is losing 51 percent to 32 percent. The poll also says those asked do not support outlawing legalized prostitution by a 20 point margin.

With the daily drama surrounding President Trump and the talk about his fitness for office, the poll showed Nevadans do not support impeachment, a hot topic if Democrats succeed in recapturing the House of Representatives. Impeachment lost 59.4 percent to 35.6 percent.

In Henderson, voter Edda Keyserling, a Democrat, is also not jumping on the impeachment bandwagon. But she says Washington needs change.

“Well, I don’t think that one party should control everything. I think you need to have some sort of balance on what you do,” she says.

In the meantime, in Nevada, Democrats and Republicans will try to win over undecided voters like Michelle, who preferred to not give me her last name. I asked what will help her make up her mind.

“Just that they keep their promises that they talk about,” she says.

And as Michelle goes, so goes, maybe, an election.

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