Democrats enjoy a double-digit lead on a generic congressional ballot and hold the upper hand in the race for lieutenant governor, according to a poll released by Democratic candidate Kate Marshall.
The poll released Wednesday showed Marshall leading likely Republican opponent state Sen. Michael Roberson 43 to 37 percent in the lieutenant governor race, but with 20 percent of voters still undecided. Respondents took a favorable view of Democrats when asked which party to support for a generic congressional candidate, with 49 percent favoring the party compared to 39 percent for Republicans.
The poll, conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling and paid for by Marshall’s campaign, surveyed 898 state voters between March 16 and 18, with 80 percent responding via telephone and 20 percent over the Internet. The margin of error was 3.3 percent.
The survey had a generous sample for Democrats, which assumes a large enthusiasm gap in November. The poll had different percentages of registered voters than the state’s current registration breakdown — 42 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican and 22 percent independent. The most recent voter registration statistics released by the secretary of state’s office show 38 percent of registered voters are Democrats, 34 percent are Republicans and 21 percent are nonpartisan.
The poll undersampled both Trump and Hillary Clinton voters, with 40 percent of respondents saying they voted for the Republican in 2016 and 46 percent voting for Clinton. The actual election was much closer, with Clinton defeating Trump on a 48 to 46 percent margin.
PPP analyst Jim Williams said in a statement that the results of the poll were positive indicators for Democrats seven months ahead of the high-stakes midterm election.
“They currently enjoy a 13-point enthusiasm gap and a 10-point lead in a generic Congressional horserace,” he said in a statement. “In her race for Lieutenant Governor, make no mistake, Kate Marshall is sitting in the driver’s seat.”
Marshall will face off against little-known Laurie Hansen in the Democratic primary, while Roberson will face challenges from former Assemblyman Brent Jones, Scott LaFata, Eugene Hoover and Gary Anthony Meyers in the Republican primary election.
The poll also indicated that a majority of Nevada voters still don’t approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance — 55 percent of respondents said they disapproved of his performance compared to 40 percent approval. Nearly three-quarters of Republican respondents (70 percent) said they approved of the president’s job performance, while Independent voters tallied 37 percent approval and 51 percent disapproved of his performance in office.
Interest in the upcoming midterm elections remains high — a full 57 percent of voters said they were “very excited” to vote in the 2018 midterms, with 23 percent saying they were “somewhat excited” and 20 percent “not that excited.” A slightly higher percentage of Republicans reported being “very excited” to vote — 61 percent, compared to 58 percent for Democrats.