A new 8 News NOW poll shows a widening gap in the U.S. Senate race, but also a growing group of undecided voters.

The poll of Nevada voters, conducted earlier this week, shows Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto with a five percent lead over Republican Rep. Joe Heck. The hotly-contested race will decide who fills the U.S. Senate seat left open after longtime Democratic Senator Harry Reid retires.

The 8 News NOW poll, done by JMC Analytics and Polling, shows 40 percent say they would vote for Masto if the election were held today, while 35 percent said they would vote for Heck. 

The margin of error is four percent.

Question 3: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, which candidate would you support? (Party affiliations of candidates mentioned)

  • Cortez Masto                           40%
  • Heck                                        35%
  • Jones                                        3%
  • Gumina                                     2%
  • Sawyer                                     1% 
  • Williams                                 < 1%
  • None of the above                    4%
  • Undecided (Not read)             16%


Of those who selected Undecided, the poll shows most are leaning in the direction of Cortez Masto. 

Question 4: (Only if “undecided” is selected for the previous question) Given that you are undecided, which candidate are you leaning towards supporting? (Party affiliations of candidates mentioned)

  • Cortez Masto  41%
  • Heck  36%
  • Jones    3%
  • Gumina     2%
  • Sawyer     1%
  • Williams  <1%
  • None of the above     5%
  • Undecided (Not read)   14%

Cortez Masto and Heck will meet face to face Friday night, October 14, in their only debate before the Nov. 8 election. The debate is exclusive to 8NewsNOW and Univision and can be watched on Channel 8 and online at www.8NewsNOW.com starting at 7 p.m. Follow us on https://www.facebook.com/8NewsNOW and Twitter #NVDebate. Share your comments and pictures!


Polling Methodology

For this poll, a sample of likely households for a live operator poll was chosen from the population registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and there were 600 completed responses to 10 poll questions. 69% of the phone numbers were landlines and 31% of the phone numbers were cell phones.

The survey was conducted October 10-13. The margin of error, with a 95% confidence interval, was 4.0%. The demographic breakdown of the respondents was 66-15-6% white/Hispanic/black (2% were Asian and 10% were “other”), while the party registration of respondents was 43-38% Democratic/Republican (19% Independents). The geographic breakdown of the respondents was as follows: 19% from the 1st Congressional District, 11% from the 2nd Congressional District (“Cow Counties”), 18% from the 2nd Congressional District (Washoe County), 25% from the 3rd Congressional District, 24% from the 4th Congressional District (Clark County), and 3% from the 4th Congressional District (“Cow Counties”) (The explanation of the boundaries of these regions is graphically depicted in Exhibit A at the end of the poll analysis).