LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The races for U.S. Senate and Nevada governor are deadlocked in the latest 8 News Now/Emerson College/The Hill Poll.
U.S. Senate race
Republican Adam Laxalt has pulled ahead of incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto by half a percentage point in the poll released on Tuesday. Laxalt has 41.8% of the vote and Cortez Masto is at 41.3%. The poll’s “credibility interval” — similar to a margin of error — is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll found 11% of voters are undecided and 4% plan to vote for someone else.
Laxalt’s support has increased since the last 8 News Now/Emerson College Poll of Nevadans in mid-July, when Laxalt trailed 40.4% to 44.1% about three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights.
Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “Male and female voters break nearly in opposite directions” in the U.S. Senate race. Democrats identify abortion as the most important issue in determining their vote, just ahead of the economy. Republicans overwhelmingly identify the economy as first, with immigration as the second-most important issue and abortion a distant third.
The poll also asked: “If the midterm elections were held today, would you vote for the Democratic or Republican congressional candidate on the ballot.” Responses showed that 46.4% would vote for the Republican candidate and 42.5% would vote for the Democratic candidate, with 8.9% answering that they were undecided and 2.1% choosing “None of these candidates.”
Nevada governor’s race
Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak has lost ground to Republican challenger Joe Lombardo in the governor’s race. Sisolak has 40.4% and Lombardo has 40.2%, with 11.8% undecided, 4.1% voting for “someone else” and 3.5% answering “none of these.”
Sisolak had 43.6% of the vote two months ago and Lombardo was at 40.4%.
Both contests are well within the 3-percentage-point margin, and undecided voters loom large as campaign ads for all four candidates fill TV ad slots.
A hint at how undecideds view the election came from answers about who voters expect to win each race. Regardless of whom they support, 54.3% expect Cortez Masto to win while 45.7% expect Laxalt to win. A majority of voters (51.8%) expect Sisolak to remain in office next year, while 48.2% expect Lombardo to win.
Trump, Biden questions
A majority of Nevada voters (53.0%) disapprove of the job that President Joe Biden is doing, while 37.2% approve. Others said they are neutral or have no opinion (9.8%). In a 2024 hypothetical matchup between Biden and former President Donald Trump, 42.5% would support Trump and 39.8% would vote for Biden.
More Nevada voters (39.7%) say the recent FBI search of Mar-a-Lago makes them more likely to support Donald Trump, wile 32.4% are less likely. More than a quarter (27.9%) say it makes no difference. The share of individuals who say the search makes them more likely to support Trump is 10 points higher in Nevada than in the Emerson August national poll.
The poll, conducted Sept. 8-10, asked 1,000 people who described themselves as “somewhat likely” or “very likely” voters. Data was collected using a cellphone sample using text messages, interactive voice response, web survey via email and an online panel.