Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) leads her challenger by 7 points in the closely watched Nevada Senate race, according to a new Suffolk University-Reno Gazette-Journal poll.
Forty-five percent of respondents indicated support for Cortez Masto, compared to 38 percent support for former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R). Twelve percent said they were undecided, while 3 percent said they would support none of the polled candidates.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the Nevada contest as one of four toss-up races that could determine which party will control the Senate beginning next year.
Democrats are facing historical and political headwinds going into this year’s midterm elections. But many in the party are hoping a series of recent victories can counter voter frustration about issues such as inflation and avoid a shellacking in November that leads to unified GOP control of Congress.
Inflation and the economy polled as the top issue for voters, according to the poll, at 34 percent, followed by 13 percent who said abortion was their top concern.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been managing midterm expectations, saying last week that Republicans had a better chance of flipping the House than the Senate. That view aligns with analysts such as FiveThirtyEight, which as of Sunday gave Republicans a 78 percent chance of winning House control and a 37 percent chance of flipping the upper chamber.
“Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome,” McConnell said.
The remark was an apparent snide to candidates such as Laxalt, who was backed by former President Trump in the primary. Many Republican nominees in battleground Senate races — such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia — received Trump’s backing in their primaries.
The poll also found that incumbent Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) edged out his Trump-backed opponent, Joe Lombardo, by 3 percentage points. Forty-three percent of respondents indicated support for Sisolak’s reelection, compared to 40 percent for Lombardo.
The Cook Political Report similarly rates the gubernatorial race as a toss-up.
The former president, who himself is weighing a third bid for the White House, has endorsed candidates across the country, largely focusing on those who support his unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. Election fraud clocked in as the third most important issue in the poll, with 11 percent of respondents saying it was their top concern this year.
“Laxalt and Lombardo are up big in Nevada!” Trump posted on Truth Social on Sunday, without pointing to data supporting his claim.
The Suffolk University-Reno Gazette-Journal poll was conducted between Aug. 14 and Aug. 17 with 500 likely Nevada voters.
Source: The Hill