How to watch IndyFest Day 2: Exclusive poll results, talk with Pete Buttigieg

A talk with a cabinet secretary, a discussion on the future of online gaming and one of the first major polls of two marquee Nevada races await attendees Sunday at IndyFest, The Nevada Independent’s annual conference on political and policy issues that most affect the Silver State.

On the final day of the event, participants will enjoy a virtual champagne brunch featuring an interview with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg — a former Democratic presidential candidate — and a panel featuring MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle and American Gaming Association CEO Bill Miller.

Attendees will also get an exclusive glimpse at the results of polls conducted for The Indy by The Mellman Group that include head-to-head numbers in the 2022 gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. Live analysis will be provided by pollster Mark Mellman and Indy Editor Jon Ralston.

On Saturday, attendees heard from four focus groups — composed of non-major party voters, Latino voters, Democrats and Republicans — about how they view Gov. Steve Sisolak’s job performance, how they feel President Joe Biden is doing and what they think of the media. Many speakers noted deep polarization.

“I'm so discouraged, I couldn't vote for either one of them, the way I feel,” one participant on the nonpartisan panel said when asked whether she would vote for Republicans or Democrats in the next election.

Others had a brighter view of where the country was going after the early days of the pandemic.

“Look at how low we dropped,” one member of the Democratic focus group said. “Just look at where we're coming from, where we have to go. So I am nothing but optimistic about the future.”

Indyfest attendees also watched a debate about water policy between Palo Verde High School students Matthew Lin and Ethan Hsiao. The day’s program wrapped up with a talk between Ralston and Nate Silver, founder of the statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight, about the limitations of polling and the outlook for competitive Nevada races in 2022.

Select poll results released during the virtual conference showed 38 percent of respondents had a positive view of how Sisolak handled the pandemic, but 59 percent viewed it negatively.

“The single best thing that will help Joe Biden and Democrats is if we are done with the Delta variant and this conference next year is in person, people aren't wearing masks in casinos anymore, and people also aren’t dying of COVID,” Silver said.

Full results and crosstabs of the statewide poll will be released on Sunday evening, while details and findings on separate polls conducted among GOP primary voters and non-major party voters will be released on Monday morning.  

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