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New Polls Suggest Big Leads For NV Democrats -- Are They Accurate?

The November elections are less than seven weeks away. 

New polling suggests some races are tightening; others are widening. 

But are those figures … accurate? Do they make sense in Nevada? 

DISCUSSION HIGHLIGHTS:

On President Donald Trump’s visit to Southern Nevada:

“And getting the Republican base to turn out - to get excited about this election that is seen as favoring the Democrats because it’s an off-year election with a Republican president because Trump’s numbers are not good - is very important. That’s why Trump is here to rev up the Republican base. Nobody, nobody can rev up the Republican base as Trump does.”

Ralston says voter turnout for the election is expected to be low and southern Nevada is considered a Democratic stronghold.

He says the real goal for RepublicanS is to minimize the losses in Clark County and push to do well in rural Nevada.

Ralston also finds it ironic that President Trump will be holding his rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center when one of the state’s biggest Republican donors – Sheldon Adelson – dislikes the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority as much as he does.

FiveThirtyEight.com, which analyzes polling and other data, says Jacky Rosen has a 60 percent chance of beating Dean Heller in November:

Support comes from

“That race is a toss-up. The way that FiveThirtyEight does those rankings is they take all of the polls that are out there. They use weights and all kinds of mathematical formulas and average them together to come up with those kinds of odds.”

Ralston points out that the same organization said that Sharron Angle had an 83 percent chance of beating former Senator Harry Reid in the 2010 election.

He said that Jacky Rosen started the race as an unknown but Dean Heller is “the survivor of Nevada politics” who has never lost a race.

President Trump fully backed Danny Tarkanian in his second effort to win Congressional District 3. FiveThirtyEight.com Democrat Susie Lee is projected to have a 75 percent chance of winning the district.:

“Danny Tarkanian is the Energizer Bunny of Nevada politics. He just keeps going and going and going”

Ralston believes he’s going to get a boost from the president’s visit. And although Tarkanian has lost several races and he believes Lee is a slight favorite, Ralston says “he is not to be discounted.”

Congressional District 4 has two former office holders facing each other: Cresent Hardy, the Republican, and Steven Horsford, the Democrat. Horsford has even better odds of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.com – about 88 percent:

“I think that Cresent Hardy has a better chance than people think. He beat Steve Horsford once. That was four years ago, in a mid-term election. I think Steve Horsford has learned a lot from his mistakes.”

Ralston considers the upset of Horsford by Hardy in 2015 as one of the biggest political upsets in the history of Nevada politics.

It is a democratic district but about 15 percent of it includes rural Nevada. Ralston says the Republican Party plan is to drive up voting in rural Nevada, so it is disproportional and Hardy will offset what Horsford can do in the urban core of the district.

A recent poll of Nevada voters had Democrat Steve Sisolak up big – by 12 points over Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt. The poll was done by a company called Gravis. They talked to 700 likely voters:

“That poll doesn’t make any sense to me. There is no way Sisolak has a 12 point lead. Even Sisolak’s team doesn’t believe he has a 12 point lead. Every other poll, including a new one that came out this morning, shows that race very close.”

Ralston says there is a lot at stake in the governor’s race and as a result, there is going to be a lot of money going into the race. In fact, he says it will be “by far the most expensive governor’s race in the history of the state.”

Guests

Jon Ralston, founder, the Nevada Independent

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