Two Nevada Republican primary polls were released yesterday that show completely different results. And, both have methodology questions. JMC Analytics & Polling (8/24-25; 700 likely Republican registered voters) finds Republican challenger Danny Tarkanian leading Sen. Dean Heller, 39-31%. The Heller campaign quickly countered with their own Tarrance Group poll taken earlier in the month (8/14-16; 300 NV GOP likely primary voters) that gives the Senator a wide 55-33% lead over Mr. Tarkanian. Obviously, the polls differ wildly, but even the small-sample Tarrance data suggests weakness for Heller within the Republican base despite his 22-point advantage.
The JMC poll likely created a sample more closely aligned with President Trump supporters (Mr. Trump has an 80:14% favorability ratio within the sample) as opposed to a straight Republican registered voter universe. The sampling statement suggests that the respondents are “likely registered Republican voters”, an unusual approach in a place where voters are defined as members of a particular political party. We can expect to see a great deal of political activity surrounding the Nevada Senate race throughout all of next year both in the Republican primary and certainly the general election.
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