Home>Congress>Two Brutal New Polls Spell Trouble for Nevada Dems

President Joe Biden delivers remarks and participates in a Q&A session on COVID-19 with the National Governors Association Monday, December 27, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Two Brutal New Polls Spell Trouble for Nevada Dems

Biden unpopularity has some distancing from the president

By Ken Kurson, April 20, 2022 1:02 pm

Coming on top of the news that the Nevada Republicans had added 24,336 more new registrations since the 2020 election than have the Democrats, Interactive Polls is out with some data that paint a surprisingly rosy picture for the Grand Old Party in the Battle Born State.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

A statistically solid n500 survey asks the question, “I am now going to read you a list of individuals in state and national politics. For each, please tell me if your opinion is generally favorable or unfavorable. If you are undecided or if you’ve never heard of someone just tell me that. First take Joe Biden. Is your opinion of Joe Biden generally favorable or generally unfavorable?”

If you have any experience in polling, you recognize this as a professional and thoughtfully worded question, and its sampling of 33% Democrats,32% Republicans and 35% Independents correctly mirrors the state’s composition.

Naturally, in a poll of “likely voters,” there is no one who hasn’t heard of Joe Biden. So that’s good news for the President. Unfortunately, that’s all the good news this poll has to offer. He comes out at 37.6% favorable and 58% unfavorable, with about 4-1/2 undecided. That’s -20—consistent with others for the president in Nevada.

It’s also bad news for other Democrats running in the state, as voters tend to express their feelings about the White House during off-year elections by rewarding or punishing the president’s party.

The poll goes on to ask about seven state figures using the same language and again correctly randomizing the order so that the callers don’t suddenly stop paying attention after a long list of names.

Governor and Senator are under water

Among US Senate candidates, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is at 40.6 versus 44.4 for approval/disapproval, giving her a -4. Potential Republican challengers are at 36.6 to 29.6 (+7) for Adam Laxalt, while Sam Brown is it 18.2/8.8. That’s a +9 for Brown, but his challenge is that more than a third of the electorate has never heard of him, versus 9.84 for Laxalt, whose previous statewide runs give him much higher name ID. In addition to the 35.8% who have never heard of Brown, 37.2% have no opinion of him.

Some Democrats may begin to turn their backs on the president as he struggles to regain his footing. Here, Rep. Dina Titus sits with Joe Biden at Sun City MacDonald Ranch in Henderson, Nevada, February 14, 2020. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Turning to the governor’s race, incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak is at 42.4/45.2. Would-be challengers are: Joe Lombardo at 30/27.2, Dean Heller at 27.6 /36.6, and Joey Gilbert who’s at 18.6/12.2. Heller, with his long career in elected office, is the best known of the challengers, but that -9 net will make it a tough race for him if he wins the Republican primary. Similarly, Gilbert’s +6 is encouraging for the former pro boxer, but the 34% who’ve never heard of him plus the 35.2% who have no opinion, will make it hard to carve out space during an election season that’s already seeing massive television expenditures.

The Globe asked Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald what these numbers indicate for his party’s chances in November.

“Well I think the Democrats in leadership now have strongly backed the Administration and its failed policies,” McDonald told The Globe. “Every American is hurting. I don’t care where you’re at. With gas prices, food prices. The working-class American sees the failed policies of the Democrats that have driven us right into the ground. It’s only a matter of time before we just sink. If you just take that and see it’s only been the second year of the administration and how horrible it is, we’re in trouble.

The only way their frustrations are being taken is that we have to get back to the ballot box, we have to have clean and fair elections. There will be more eyes on this election than ever before. And we have to vote for people who are going to turn the economy around, bring down food prices, bring down gas prices.

If you combine all of that with the fact that we have great candidates on the ballot who have proven leadership and they’re saying ‘here’s the policy I want to implement and here’s where I want to take the state of Nevada,’ I think it’s going to be a strong red wave for Republicans.”

Poll Shows POTUS at -26

Meanwhile, Civiqs is out with its April 16 results, and again they’re very troubling for Democrats and very encouraging for Republicans.

Biden’s approval in Nevada, according to Civiqs, is a shocking 33/59. A -26 will be very difficult to overcome, as even Gov Sisolak’s pollster, John Anzalone, acknowledged when he called 2022 “the worst political environment I have lived through in 30 years of being a political consultant.”

Breaking those numbers down provides even more insight. Biden’s approval among registered Democrats in Nevada remains a decent but not overwhelming 71/17. But he’s at 2/97 among Republicans. That’s a crazy number. Numbers like 97 don’t often surface in democracies. More troubling for Biden—and for those in his party—are his numbers among Independents, which show an 18/73 approval for a net -55. Among Black voters he’s only at 58/26. And the number so shocking I thought I had misread it, Biden is at 40/46 approve/disapprove among Hispanic voters, a -6 among a group that is a must carry in the fall for Nevada Democrats.

Some Democrats have even begun the midterm ritual of disavowing their own party’s leader. For example, Sen. Cortez Masto recently experienced a sudden change of heart on Title 42, a Trump era rule that limited illegal border crossings and asylum claims at the height of the pandemic. Biden favors lifting that rule, and so did Cortez Masto, who signed a letter calling Title 42 a “CDC asylum ban” and warning the rule would “further an ongoing agenda to exclude asylum seekers.” Now, in an election year—and with record numbers of illegal border crossings flooding all Southwestern states—she supports keeping Title 42 in place.

Chairman McDonald doesn’t think Nevada voters will buy the miraculous conversion.

“I think when you look at the constituents of the senator, they’ve been reaching out to her to say how bad it is at the border. They have been saying, ‘You have to hear us. We don’t like what you’re standing for. We don’t like what you’re doing.’ It’s too little too late, in the sense of where they’re going to be lining up and trying to sell a hoodwink. Trying to sell a lie. You can’t just pop on the scene right now and say, ‘OK, I’m here to help,’ when you’ve been a problem for the last 18 months.

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