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Nevada Senate, Governor Races In Dead Heat: Poll

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Nevada in recent election cycles has been known more as a blue state but political races there are tightening up ahead of the 2022 congressional midterms, perhaps owing to Democratic struggles nationally.

According to an 8 News Now/Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey, the races for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada as well as for governor are dead heats, with GOP candidates in both races running strong. Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro, the poll found, is in serious trouble and could easily lose.

Republican Adam Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general, got 42 percent support in the survey compared to 41 percent for Cortez Masto, with 11 percent saying they were undecided. Four percent, meanwhile, vowed to support a different candidate.

The state’s gubernatorial race is also a virtual tie at the moment.

The survey found that “forty percent of likely voters saying they planned to vote for Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) and Republican nominee Joe Lombardo, respectively. Twelve percent said they were undecided and four percent said they planned on voting for another candidate. Like Cortez Masto, a majority of voters said they expected Sisolak to win reelection. Fifty-two percent predicted Sisolak would win, while 48 percent said the same about Lombardo,” The Hill reported.

The outlet went on to report:

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And like the Senate race, the latest poll shows Lombardo making gains. The July poll showed Sisolak receiving 44 percent support, while 40 percent said they would vote for Lombardo. The lead was within the poll’s margin of error.

The state is also home to a number of highly contested House races, including in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th congressional districts. Tuesday’s poll showed Republicans leading Democrats on the generic ballot 46 percent to 43 percent.

Nationally, Democrats are suffering from fallout over naggingly high inflation which increased again in August, according to government figures released this week, which then led to large declines in stock market indices. Also, while President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have gone up slightly in recent weeks, he is still deep underwater at around 41-42 percent.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee is advising its candidates to ignore the media hype about Democrats making inroads and instead focus on core issues concerning most voters.

In particular, an RNC memo to candidates advises them to hone in on economic issues like high gasoline, food, and housing costs, as well as rising crime throughout the country, the Washington Times reported.

The memo also advised GOP candidates in swing districts to remind voters of Democrats’ “extreme” positions on abortion, including support for the life-ending procedure up to the moment before birth.

“While Biden and out-of-touch Democrats refuse to address the economic peril they created, voters have made it abundantly clear that this election is about the economy and crime,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel advised in a statement that accompanied the memo. “Meanwhile, Republican candidates are meeting voters where they are and discussing the issues they care about, from the economy to crime and safety.

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“In November, voters will turn to the candidates who showed compassion and solutions for their concerns, which is why Republicans are in the strongest position to take back the House and Senate,” she added.

The Times notes further:

The RNC is pushing for a post-Labor Day reboot after a series of updated political forecasts suggested that Democrats are in a far better position than they once were to defend their slim Senate majority and limit casualties in the House.

According to the memo, that storyline is more wishful thinking on behalf of Democrats than a reflection of reality on the ground, particularly if Republicans sharpen their message on top issues for voters, including independents.

The RNC memo appears to be reflective of other polling showing that, while the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade may have energized the liberal base of the Democratic Party, there are far more concerns among Americans about so-called “kitchen table issues” — personal finances, a rising crime rate, and shortages of certain commodities like baby formula earlier this summer.

The memo “urged Republican candidates to ignore the noise of the mainstream media, run their campaigns on their terms and focus on the issues that drive most voters,” The Washington Times reported.

“Democrats and the national media are determined to try and make abortion the top issue ahead of the midterms, however, the media is not on our side, and we do not answer to them but to voters,” the memo said. “Voters have made clear this election is largely about the economy and crime.”

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