As Nevadans begin voting in the 2022 midterm election, a new University of Nevada, Reno poll of likely voters released today finds Catherine Cortez Masto leading in the race for U.S. senator and Steve Sisolak leading in the governor’s race. The governor’s race is within the margin of error, but the senate race is not.
The Nevada Election Survey Project 2022 general election poll, which asked nearly 600 likely Nevada voters about their voting intentions and views on state and national officials, found 52% of Nevadans plan to vote for Cortez Masto, 39% for Adam Laxalt and 5% remain undecided.
Cortez Masto’s large lead reflects less Republican voter enthusiasm for Laxalt’s candidacy compared to Joe Lombardo and other Republican candidates. Among likely Republican voters, 74% said they planned to support Laxalt, compared to 83% for Lombardo and 88% for their Republican House of Representatives candidate. More Republicans also plan to support Cortez Masto than other Democrats on the ballot. Even if this sample of Nevadans is unusually supportive of the incumbent senator, lower support among any likely Republican voters for Laxalt, in what others have polled as a very tight race, is noteworthy.
In the governor’s race, 47% of Nevadans plan to vote for Sisolak, compared to 45% for Lombardo and 5% percent are undecided. The other statewide races are also very competitive. For attorney general, 37% plan to vote for Aaron Ford and 25% for Sigal Chattah, with 32% undecided. For secretary of state, Cisco Aguilar leads Jim Marchant 29% to 27%, with 40% undecided. In the treasurer’s race, 26% of voters plan to vote for Michele Fiore, 23% for Zach Conine, with 44% undecided.
Likely Nevada voters show mixed support on this election’s ballot questions. A majority, 72%, supports Question 1, the Equal Rights Amendment. Similarly, 65% supports Question 2, which would change Nevada’s minimum wage laws. Voters are less supportive of Question 3, which would create an open primary and top 5 ranked choice voting system. Only 37% support it and 27% are undecided.
Nevadans’ current approval ratings of President Biden and Governor Sisolak are 38% and 42%, respectively. Republican respondents were asked whether they think Donald Trump should be the Republican nominee for president in 2024. 63% responded yes, 24% responded no and 13% are undecided.
The Nevada Election Survey Project general election poll was conducted between October 5-19, 2022, and consists of 1,365 Nevadans. 586 are likely voters. The candidate support questions only include Nevadans who report being registered to vote and very likely to vote in the upcoming election. The margin of error for those questions is +/- 4. Of the entire sample, 1,257 respondents completed an online survey conducted by Dynata, which included a target of 30% Latino/Hispanic respondents. 108 respondents were recruited on Facebook. The summary findings include both samples. The overall margin of error is +/- 2.8. To generalize to the state of Nevada, the data was weighted based on demographics including age, race/ethnicity, income, education, gender, location in Nevada (Washoe, Clark or Other) and self-reported vote choice in the 2020 presidential election. Weight targets were calculated using the American Community Survey (ACS) and the state of Nevada voter file (as of October 23, 2022). The authors can be contacted via email.