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Another Poll Out of a Key Swing State Shows Bad News for Vulnerable Democratic Incumbents

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

In the past few weeks, Townhall has covered in depth how the races look to be playing out in key battleground states, including where many vulnerable Democratic incumbents are running. Where Democrats are leading, they look to be leading narrowly, and even still, they've been nervous that such leads aren't for real, as such polling has been inaccurate before. And then there are those states where Republican challengers are themselves leading or are close to it.

The Trafalgar Group and/or Emerson College have been conducting polls in these various states, such as Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and even Washington. 

On Tuesday, Emerson College released polling on Nevada that they did with 8 News Now and The Hill, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the body, is running for re-election against Adam Laxalt, who previously served as the state's attorney general. 

Laxalt's lead of 42 percent to Sen. Cortez Masto's 41 percent is certainly very narrow, and within the margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. It's also less than the 4 percent who say they'd select someone else, as well as the 11 percent who say they're undecided.

Tellingly, Laxalt still continues to do better, while Sen. Cortez Masto continues to do worse. As a release from Emerson explained, his support has increased by a point since July's polling, and hers fell even more so, by 3 percentage points. 

As I referenced in a VIP piece from June, Cortez Masto's vulnerability has been highlighted as being first on the list of vulnerable senators from RollCall in May, as well as in coverage from the Associated Press, The Washington Times, and with POLITICO, emphasizing her as a "vulnerable" incumbent. 

Since then, Sen. Cortez Masto has found herself in even more unflattering news coverage, including NBC News' "'Our best opportunity': Republicans pose serious threat to Cortez Masto in Nevada." The Hill also warned that "Nevada could cost Democrats their Senate majority." Even The Washington Post fact-checker went after Sen. Masto last month, when it comes to how "Cortez Masto’s misfired attack on Laxalt’s opioid record," for which she received "Three Pinocchios," translating to "mostly false."

Sen. Cortez Masto also showed off some pretty despicable pro-abortion priorities by tweeting last Friday about legislation she supported that is sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The bill, the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act, which has ridiculously been nicknamed by its supporters as the SAD Act, seeks to fine pregnancy resources centers, which are privately owned and funded, out of existence.

Laxalt responded to the tweet with one of his own later that day, as he also reminded how pregnancy centers have been the target of vandalism and even violent attacks in recent months. 

While Sen. Cortez Masto may be obsessed with her pro-abortion position, it doesn't seem that her fellow Nevadans are. Although Emerson found it's the second most important issue to voters, the 18 percent who say it's their most important issue still pales in comparison to the 42 percent who say that the economy is. 

The race was even tighter for the gubernatorial race between Gov. Steve Sisolak, who is another vulnerable Democratic incumbent, and his Republican challenger, Joe Lombardo, in that 40 percent of voters support each candidate. 

Like in the senate race, 4 percent said they would vote for someone else. A significant 12 percent are undecided. While Lombardo has consistently held at 40 percent between July and now, Sisolak went down four percentage points since then.

Both Nevada's senate and gubernatorial races are largely considered a "Toss-Up"

The poll also shows bad news for President Joe Biden, in that more than a majority, at 53 percent, disapprove of the job he's doing as president. Just 37 percent approve. A Civiqs poll similarly shows him with a 53 percent disapproval rating in that state, while 40 percent approve. 

Although Nevada voted for President Biden in 2020, 50.1 percent to former President Donald Trump's 47.7 percent, this poll indicates Trump has a lead over Biden for a hypothetical matchup for 2024, with 43 percent to Biden's 40 percent. Nevada has not voted for a Republican for president since electing President George W. Bush in 2000 and again in 2004. 

The poll was conducted September 8-September 10, with 1,000 somewhat or very likely voters. Again, the margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

Trafalgar did a poll last month showing Laxalt with a lead over Sen. Cortez Masto of 2.4 percentage points. He also just teased the release of an upcoming poll on the Nevada gubernatorial race, among others. 


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