LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak holds a narrow lead in the governor’s race less than four months ahead of Election Day, according to an 8 News Now/Emerson College/The Hill Poll.
Sisolak and other Democrats are feeling the heat as Republicans feast on public opinion that has largely turned against President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders nationwide.
Republican challenger Joe Lombardo scored 40.4% of voters’ support in the poll, not far behind Sisolak’s 43.6%. Predictions that Sisolak would be one of the most vulnerable governors in the nation during mid-term elections now appear to be a stark reality. The fight to win support from uncommitted voters will get fierce leading up to Nov. 8.
The poll found 7.3% of voters are undecided, and 8.6% are planning to vote for “someone else” for Nevada governor. The poll has a margin of error of 2.1%.
Sisolak’s approval rating is at 39.9%, according to a separate poll question.
And Sisolak could end up paying for the general feeling that Nevada is going in the wrong direction. The Emerson poll found that 55.4% of respondents believe the state is headed down the wrong track, with 44.6% saying Nevada is moving in the right direction.
Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff, emerged from a crowded field of Republican candidates in the primary. In addition to his name recognition in Clark County — and statewide, due to his prominence in the aftermath of the 1 October shooting in 2017 — Lombardo will have appeal to voters based on his law enforcement background. He continues to campaign against “keyboard cowboys” and points to his experience with illegal immigration.
Sisolak has been under fire from Republicans who blame him personally for the decision to shut down Nevada’s tourism economy during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. His leadership through the pandemic has brought him support from his own party, but he has had to endure personal attacks and threats from many who are still struggling with unemployment. Sisolak’s frustration has been visible at times.
The 8 News Now/Emerson College/The Hill Poll was conducted July 7-10, and the breakdown for the 2,000 people who were polled is as follows: 33.1% Democrats, 30.3% Republicans, 30.0% nonpartisan and 6.7% other.
The poll sample was 58.8% white/caucasian, 14.9% Hispanic/Latino, 9.2% Black/African American, 6.1% Asian American or Pacific Islander and 10.9% other or multiple races.
The age breakdown is as follows: 13.4% age 18-29, 29.4% age 30-49, 28.1% age 50-64 and 29.1% age 65 or older.