West Long Branch, NJ – The race for Nevada’s electoral votes is tight, with Hillary Clinton holding a small 4 point lead over Donald Trump, according to the Monmouth University Poll . In the contest to take the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Joe Heck leads Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto by 2 points.
Among Silver State voters likely to participate in November’s presidential election, 45% currently support Clinton and 41% back Trump. Another 5% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 4% say they will choose Nevada’s unique “none of these candidates” ballot option. “None of these candidates” has received less than one percent of the vote in recent presidential contests, although it did register 2% in 1988 and approached 5% of the total vote as recently as the 2012 U.S. Senate race.
Among self-identified Republicans, 88% support Trump while 6% actually choose Clinton and 2% back Johnson or another candidate. Among Democrats, 92% support Clinton while 3% choose Trump and 3% back Johnson. Among independents, 39% are with Trump and 37% are with Clinton, while 10% back Johnson and 8% choose “none of these candidates.”
“One question at this early stage is whether Clinton can hold onto the small but crucial number of Republican voters who are currently supporting her or whether Trump can win them over as well as Democrats backing Johnson,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Otherwise, this contest looks to be lining up along familiar demographic divides where turnout will determine the ultimate outcome.”
Clinton has the lead among women voters by 53% to 38% and Trump has the edge among men by 44% to 37%. White voters prefer Trump by 49% to 37%, while Hispanic, black and Asian voters overwhelmingly choose Clinton by 64% to 23%.
Nevada voters take a similarly dim view of both major party candidates. Only 34% have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 54% hold an unfavorable view of her. Likewise, only 35% have a favorable opinion of Trump while 53% hold an unfavorable view of him. Just over 4-in-10 voters (41%) feel it is very important to keep Clinton from being elected president, but slightly more (46%) say the same about Trump.
There is no clear consensus on which candidate is more likely to help “the little guy” – a campaign theme that has been emerging over the past few weeks. Clinton has a slight edge here, with 37% who say she is more likely to look out for the little guy compared to 31% who say this describes Trump more. Another 4% say this describes both of them equally, but 27% say neither candidate is likely to look out for the little guy.
On the other hand, recent news about how Clinton handled her private email server while Secretary of State does not reflect very well on her. Nearly half of Nevada voters (44%) believe that the Democratic nominee acted criminally, another 27% say she showed poor judgment and just 13% say she did nothing out of the ordinary, while 16% offer no opinion.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, Congressman Joe Heck currently holds 42% of the likely vote and former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has 40%. Tom Jones of the Independent American Party has 5% and “none of these candidates” has 6%, with another 7% who are undecided.
About 8-in-10 Republicans (81%) back Heck and a similar number of Democrats (83%) support Cortez Masto. Independents prefer Heck by 43% to 30%. Heck holds a 47% to 35% edge among white voters and Cortez Masto has a 49% to 29% lead among Hispanic, black and Asian voters.
The candidates are vying to fill the seat of outgoing Senator Harry Reid, who is not universally well-liked by his constituents. Just 41% of likely Nevada voters approve of the job he has been doing while 46% disapprove. Among voters who give Reid positive marks, 69% back Cortez Masto to fill his shoes and 16% support Heck. Among the larger number who disapprove of Reid’s job performance, 67% are voting for Heck and just 14% support Cortez Masto.
“It would not help the Democrat if this race turns into a referendum on Reid’s leadership in Congress,” said Murray. “An early campaign theme has been the influence of special interests, but voters don’t see this as a big deal right now, partly because they don’t know a lot about the two nominees despite their years in elected office.”
Overall, 26% of voters say special interests have too much influence over Heck, 28% say they have the right amount, 5% say they have too little influence, while 41% offer no opinion on this. Similarly, 27% of voters say special interests have too much influence over Cortez Masto, 23% say they have the right amount, 5% say they have too little influence, while 45% offer no opinion on this.
Just over one-third of likely Nevada voters (36%) have a favorable opinion of Heck and 19% hold an unfavorable view of him, while 44% have no opinion. Nearly 3-in-10 likely Nevada voters (29%) have a favorable opinion of Cortez Masto and 16% hold an unfavorable view of her, while 55% have no opinion.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from July 7 to 10, 2016 with 408 Nevada residents likely to vote in the November election. This sample has a margin of error of ± 4.9 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)
1. If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, or Gary Johnson the Libertarian – or would you choose the option for none of these candidates? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
|None of these candidates||4%|
2. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Joe Heck the Republican, Catherine Cortez Masto the Democrat, or Tom Jones of the Independent American Party – or would you choose the option for none of these candidates? [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Joe Heck or Catherine Cortez Masto?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
|Catherine Cortez Masto||40%|
|None of these candidates||6%|
Regardless of who you may support for president…
[QUESTIONS 3 & 4 WERE ROTATED]
3. How important is it to you to make sure that Donald Trump does NOT get elected president – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?
|Not too important||6%|
|Not at all important||35%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||4%|
4. How important is it to you to make sure that Hillary Clinton does NOT get elected president – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?
|Not too important||9%|
|Not at all important||35%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||4%|
[QUESTIONS 5 & 6 WERE ROTATED]
5. Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
6. Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
7. Which candidate would do a better job looking out for the little guy – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, both of them equally, or neither of them? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
|Both of them equally||4%|
|Neither of them||27%|
|(VOL) Don’t know||1%|
8. Based on recent news about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server when she was Secretary of State, do you think she committed a crime, she showed poor judgment but did not commit a crime, she did nothing out of the ordinary, or do you have no opinion on this?
|Committed a crime||44%|
|Showed poor judgment but did not commit a crime||27%|
|Did nothing out of the ordinary||13%|
Turning to the Senate race…
[QUESTIONS 9 & 10 WERE ROTATED]
9. Is your general impression of Joe Heck favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
10. Is your general impression of Catherine Cortez Masto favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
[QUESTIONS 11 & 12 WERE ROTATED]
11. How much influence do special interest groups have over Joe Heck – too much, too little, or the right amount?
|(VOL) Don’t know||41%|
12. How much influence do special interest groups have over Catherine Cortez Masto – too much, too little, or the right amount?
|(VOL) Don’t know||45%|
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Harry Reid is doing as U.S. senator?
|(VOL) No opinion||13%|
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from July 7 to 10, 2016 with a random sample of 408 likely Nevada voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 353 drawn from a list of registered voters (203 on a landline and 150 on a cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 55 cell phone interviews. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and party registration based on voter list and U.S. Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
|36% Reg Rep|
|40% Reg Dem|
|24% Reg Oth/UNA|
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.