Nearly two-thirds of Nevada Latinos favor Biden in presidential race, but Trump has gained ground

Sixty-two percent of Latino registered voters in Nevada favor Joe Biden and 26 percent favor Donald Trump in the presidential race, although Trump has gained ground in the state in recent months in a contest perceived to be tightening.

That’s according to a statewide poll released Monday by Equis Research, which surveyed 600 voters in both English and Spanish, found that 48 percent said they would “definitely” vote for Biden if the election were held today, and another 14 percent fell in the “probably” or “lean toward” Biden categories.

“Biden is slightly ahead of Clinton's final numbers from 2016 in Nevada right now,” said Stephanie Valencia, co-founder and president of Equis, which describes itself as a "progressive research consortium," specializes in polling Latino voters and has principals who have worked for Democrats. “But obviously, given that we're this many days out from the election, there is some tightening that's happening that's really important to keep an eye on.”

By contrast, 21 percent of Nevada Latinos said they would “definitely” support Trump, and another five would “probably” or “lean toward” voting for him. Six percent said they’d opt for a third-party candidate, and 7 percent said they were undecided.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2, half by live phone interview and half by an online panel. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

The poll shows a slight boost in support for Trump compared with a poll the group conducted a year earlier that pitted the president against a generic Democrat — a drop that Equis researchers attribute to people knowing little about Biden aside from his role as President Barack Obama’s second-in-command. Much of the movement toward Trump over the polls the group has conducted has come among evangelical protestants and self-described independent voters who lean conservative.

“You saw a lot of Democrats, especially younger, play a little bit of wait and see,” Equis co-founder Carlos Odio said about Biden’s debut as the nominee. “Not animosity, but just literally ‘I know he's vice president, I don't know anything more.’ That's true in all states. And then we saw as more introduction happened, that the numbers would increase.”

Latino voters have been credited with pushing Democratic candidates over the edge in certain close Nevada races, including the 2016 and 2018 Senate races, when exit polls showed Latinos supporting Democratic candidates at about twice the rate they supported Republicans. It’s hard for Democrats to win a race in Nevada without their strong turnout and support, and hard for Republicans if they don’t win a critical mass over from Democrats.

“Any path to the White House really runs through the Latino vote,” Valencia said.

Some have raised questions about whether Latinos are as motivated to support Biden as they might have been supporting Bernie Sanders, who won Hispanics overwhelmingly in Nevada. With many Democrat-aligned groups conducting their outreach virtually rather than in-person to avoid the health risks of COVID-19, Republicans have touted an enthusiasm edge as they have resumed more face-to-face campaigning.

The poll found that 65 percent of those surveyed described themselves as “very motivated” to participate in the election this fall. Nevada’s excitement rate is lower than some of the other states the group is polling, officials from the firm said.

“Even though there are very valiant efforts by the Culinary Union and others to still knock doors and reach people in person and activate their membership ... it's not at the scale it is in a normal electoral environment,” Valencia said. “I think all of those things collectively could present some real challenges but also real opportunities for communication on a really clear vision for the future of the economy.”

The poll also found that while relatively few Latino voters explicitly blamed Trump for the woes of the coronavirus, significantly more people thought Biden would handle the crisis better.

Sixty-four percent said they disapproved of the job Trump was doing as president. Although less than a quarter blamed Trump for any of five specific adverse circumstances tied to the pandemic, the top complaint — raised by 22 percent — was that he bore responsibility for the rising nationwide death toll.

Just 9 percent blamed Trump for widespread unemployment. At the height of business shutdowns, the unemployment rate in the Las Vegas area stood at about 33 percent.

The pandemic was the policy issue Latino voters felt most strongly that Biden would handle better than Trump — there was a 40-point spread between the two on the question — while immigration was the issue on which Biden had the second largest advantage over Trump.

Ahead of an election where Nevadans will have vastly expanded options for voting by mail or in person, a plurality of Nevada Latinos, 35 percent, said they planned to vote by mail. Thirty percent said they planned to vote in person on Election Day and 27 percent said they planned to vote early in person.

Still, researchers say they continue to see Latino voters who think they don’t have enough information to vote and need more education or should be watching the news every night to participate.

“That's more the decision point that we're wrestling … when it comes to Latino voters,” Odio said. “Not the choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, but more so the choice between voting and non voting.”

Luz Gray contributed to this report. Update at 7:25 a.m. with more detail on Equis.

Indy 2020: Biden leads in Nevada poll; Democratic hopefuls prepare to return to the Silver State

Your Nevada 2020 election newsletter. Please read, forward and subscribe.

Good morning, and welcome to Indy 2020, a biweekly newsletter focused on the 2020 presidential election in Nevada. A reminder that email subscribers get early access to this newsletter, so be sure to subscribe and tell your friends. It’ll be peachy.

There’s an image that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the last 24 or so hours, and that’s of former Vice President Joe Biden as Schrödinger’s cat. (Thanks to this Atlantic article by Edward-Isaac Dovere.)

It neatly puts a bow on some of the things I’ve been mulling over the last week: How Biden seems to be flailing in Iowa and New Hampshire but has a sizable lead (at least so far) in Nevada, according to our poll and another released by Emerson last week. How Nevada might not really be a battleground state if Biden wins, but maybe it could be if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren does. How with 102 days until Nevada’s caucus it seems like everything — Democratic candidates winning and losing, Trump winning and losing, Nevada being a battleground state and not — is at the same time happening and not happening inside that box.

The good news is that (eventually!) we get to open the box.

As always, a reminder to reach out to me with any tips, story ideas, comments, suggestions, and your favorite thought experiment — am I the only one still stuck on Maxwell’s demon (especially as it was used in The Crying of Lot 49)? — at

Without further ado, a download of the recent 2020 happenings in Nevada.


The Indy poll: I had many thoughts on our latest Indy Poll — most of which are summed up in this story and thread — but I’ll briefly note some of them here. The overall takeaway is that former Vice President Joe Biden leads Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 10 points in Nevada, though his backers reported being less strongly committed to him than Warren and Sanders supporters are to their candidates. Warren was also the top second choice candidate, with 21 percent support, followed by Sanders at 19 percent.

The caveat: Only 44 percent of respondents said they were certain of their first choice pick, with 55 percent saying they still might choose someone else.

Filing deadlines: It’s all good and well to be campaigning in the Silver State, but candidates still have to actually file with the Nevada State Democratic Party in order to participate in the caucus process. I’m told that only South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire Tom Steyer, Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sanders have filed so far.

Candidates have until Jan. 1 to file, which means that it isn’t too late for a late bloomer(berg) to get into the race here. (For what it’s worth, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated that he’ll skip the four early states, Nevada included, if he gets into the race.)

Sound and fury, signifying nothing: Last week, the Las Vegas City Council passed a controversial ordinance that makes sleeping or camping in downtown Las Vegas a misdemeanor crime, but not before several Democratic presidential hopefuls had a chance to weigh in with their opposition to the measure.

I noted in the last newsletter that Warren and Steyer had joined former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro in opposing the proposed ordinance. On Monday, two days before the hearing, they were joined by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

The following day, Sanders joined in, with his campaign promising to use its email list to encourage its supporters to turn out to oppose the ordinance outside City Hall on Wednesday, soon followed by Biden, who tweeted that he was “proud to stand with folks in Las Vegas fighting against a proposed ordinance that effectively criminalizes homelessness” and Harris, who said “criminalizing homelessness is not the answer.” Castro also urged residents to call their city councilmembers.

Then, the morning of the vote, Buttigieg also came out against the ordinance with a statement: “Homelessness is a moral crisis that defies easy solutions, and the best way to address it is with smart investments in housing, supportive services, and health. I stand with members of the homeless community and advocates in opposing this ordinance."

But it was ultimately to no avail. The City Council passed the measure 5-2. (One of the “no” votes was Councilman Brian Knudsen, who backs Harris.) Warren, Castro and Sanders all came out right after the City Council’s vote, condemning it. Booker and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet criticized it the day after the vote.

The state of the #WeMatter state: Castro, appearing on MSNBC on Sunday, called for changing the order of the early nominating states.

“I actually believe that we do need to change the order of the states because I don’t believe that we’re the same country we were in 1972,” Castro said. “That’s when Iowa first held it’s caucus first, and by the time we have the next presidential election in 2024 it’ll have been more than 50 years since 1972.”

By my math, if Iowa is no longer first and New Hampshire is no longer second, that would leave a certain #WeMatter state with the first nominating contest in the nation.

Staffing up (and down): It’s been nearly two weeks since Harris’s campaign announced that it would be laying off or redeploying staff from headquarters, as well as New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa. But Nevada still hasn’t seen what New Hampshire has, with the campaign essentially halting all activity there.

I asked Harris while she was here over the weekend whether she still plans to redeploy staff from Nevada to Iowa. She gave me two non-answer answers.

“I care deeply about this state, I have worked closely with this state years before I ran and decided to run for president and I'll continue to focus resources on the state of Nevada,” Harris said, followed by, “I'm focused on Iowa, to be sure, there's no question. It's the first in the nation primary, and I'm all in on Iowa. I'm leaving Nevada to fly back to Iowa but Nevada is going to always be a priority for me.”

This comes as Castro has also announced that he is shifting his resources, with an increased focus in the coming weeks on Iowa, Nevada and Texas.

Ramping up before the first-in-the-West dinner: Buttigieg’s campaign here tells me that they plan to knock 10,000 doors as part of a weekend of action ahead of the Nevada State Democratic Party’s first-in-the-West event Sunday, where 13 Democratic hopefuls, including the South Bend mayor, will appear. (More on that below.)

Staffers and office count survey: I reached out to all the campaigns with a presence here to find out their latest staff and office census. Not all responded, but here’s what I got from those who did:

  • Biden: About 40 staff, with the campaign in the process of actively trying to hire more, and five offices.
  • Booker: About 20 staff, with plans to add more in the next few weeks, and two offices in Las Vegas and Reno.
  • Buttigieg: 46 staff, with plans to add more to the team over the next week, and 10 offices. (That includes six organizers full time in rural Nevada, and offices in Pahrump, Fallon and Elko.)
  • Castro: four staffers, and one office.
  • Harris: 26 staffers, and four offices.
  • Sanders: 72 staffers, and eight offices, with plans to open an Elko office soon.
  • Steyer: More than two dozen staffers and two offices.
  • Warren: More than 50 staffers, and nine offices.
  • Yang: 14 staffers, and two offices.

Michael Bennet was also here: The Colorado senator recently made his second trip to the state to speak at the HLTH Conference here in Las Vegas. “I’m running because I think I’ve got an agenda I think can not just unite Democrats but also win back some of the 9 million people who voted twice for Barack Obama and once for Donald Trump and that’s what it’s going to take to win purple states like Colorado and Nevada and Iowa and win not just the presidency but the Senate as well,” Bennet told CBS News’ Alex Tin outside of the conference.

Medicare for all delegates: Activist Christine Kramar, who was a Sanders national delegate from Nevada in 2016, has started a new PAC focused on electing delegates who support Medicare for all to the Democratic National Convention. It’s called the Medicare for All Delegates Network. (Thanks to my colleague, Riley Snyder, for spotting the FEC filing.)

Kramar told me the goal is to get half of the delegates elected from each state to support Medicare for all.

“The project is about beating the second ballot in the Presidential nomination process at the national convention,” Kramar said in a text. “We may end up helping to elect delegates from multiple Presidential candidates who become no longer bound to those candidates as all delegates are on the second ballot to unite around the candidate with the best Medicare for all plan.”

What she’s talking about here is if no candidate has enough delegates at the Democratic National Convention to clinch the nomination, all delegates that were bound at the state level become unbound and can support whichever candidate they want. The goal here would be that those candidate could pool their power to back a candidate who supports Medicare for all.


Nevada’s battleground status may depend on Biden: Republicans here in Nevada are gearing up for the general election. But several Republican operatives on the ground say that whether Nevada is actually in play may come down to whether the Democrats choose Biden as their nominee.

Harris campaigns with Culinary: The California senator was the first to be invited by the politically powerful Culinary Union to a town hall. There, she threaded the needle with her union-friendly Medicare-for-all plan.

Nevada still a battleground, DNC says: My colleague Humberto Sanchez was at a DNC briefing last week, where one party official said that Trump faces “historic headwinds” here. “There’s not a lot of evidence that he can successfully compete and win there,” he said.

Yang and Steyer join the pod: My colleague Jacob Solis sat down with tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang recently to talk about universal basic income and Yucca Mountain. I chatted last week with Steyer, who called Warren’s health care plan a “huge risk” and weighed in on contamination associated with the Anaconda Copper Mine.

Steyer stumps in Nevada: While in town last week, Steyer hosted a town hall in Henderson where he talked about health care and veterans. Indytern Shannon Miller was there.


Staffing changes and office openings

  • Booker Campaign Manager Addisu Demissie opened the campaign’s Reno office on Oct. 29, in addition to participating in a housing clinic tour.
  • Warren opened a new office in Southwest Las Vegas on Nov. 2. (Former Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani was there and also to kick off the campaign’s weekend of action.) Her campaign also opened its Elko campaign office on Nov. 9, its eighth campaign office in the state, with plans to open a ninth in the near future.
  • Steyer opened his Nevada headquarters in person on Nov. 3. On Wednesday, his son, Sam Steyer, attended the grand opening of the campaign’s Reno office.

New endorsements

  • Warren was recently endorsed by Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles and Bob Fulkerson, founder of the Progressive Alliance of Nevada.
  • Team Buttigieg on Monday announced the formation of “Nevada Leaders and Military Communities for Pete,” a group of servicemembers, veterans, members of military families and others who are backing Buttigieg in Nevada.
  • As I first told you on Twitter, Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo — who plans to run for Nevada Supreme Court next year — will withdraw all of his endorsements, which include Biden, before the judicial filing period in January "in order to comply with judicial canons."

Upcoming candidate visits

  • Self-help author Marianne Williamson is in town through Wednesday. She’s scheduled to speak to residents of the Siena Retirement Community in Summerlin on Tuesday and host a meet-and-greet at UNLV on Wednesday.
  • Thirteen Democratic presidential hopefuls are slated to appear the Nevada State Democratic Party’s first-in-the-West event at the Bellagio on Friday night. Those who will attend are Bennet, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sanders, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, Steyer, Warren and Yang.
  • Biden has announced that he will also be in Las Vegas on Saturday and Elko on Sunday before the event. The former vice president will also be back in Nevada on Dec. 10 and 11.

Surrogate stops

  • Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz was in town on Oct. 29.
  • Biden campaign co-chair Rep. Cedric Richmond, the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, attended the Washoe Dems Virginia Demmler Honor Roll dinner in Reno on Nov. 6. The following day, he met with local community members and officials in Las Vegas.
  • Sam Steyer also attended the Virginia Demmler Honor Roll dinner.
  • Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Pete Buttigieg, was in Nevada on Nov. 2, kicking off a canvass in Southwest Las Vegas, meeting with organizers and touring Positively Kids — a nonprofit that focuses on meeting the needs of medically fragile kids and developmentally delayed children — with Assemblywomen Michelle Gorelow and Shea Backus.
  • Several surrogates traveled to Elko on Saturday for the Elko County Democratic Party’s Roosevelt/Kennedy Dinner, including Carolyn Booker, mother of Cory Booker; Valerie Biden Owens, Joe Biden’s sister and longtime political advisor; and Doug Emhoff, Harris’s husband.
  • Carolyn Booker also hosted a meet and greet in Winnemucca on Saturday, as well as a breakfast in Elko and a meet and greet at the campaign’s Reno office on Sunday.
  • Emhoff also made stops in Winnemucca and West Wendover while in northeastern Nevada.
  • Second Lady Karen Pence will be in Las Vegas on Thursday for a Latinos for Trump event at the East Las Vegas Community Center.

Other election news

  • The Nevada State Democratic Party opened its first field office in the Historic West Side on Oct. 29. The opening was attended by Assemblyman Will McCurdy, the party’s chair.
  • The party also hosted a weekend of action over the weekend, with caucus trainings in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City. The party also plans to host veterans-centered training at Veterans Village on Nov. 13 and a women-to-women phone bank at a party field office.
  • Sanders’ campaign announced that it is “rapidly approaching” 2 million attempted voter contacts in the state.
  • Warren’s team hosted an afternoon tea service event called “Putting the Tea in Persist” with a conversation with leaders of the arts, entrepreneurial, and nonprofit communities. The campaign plans to hold a community information and listening session with Assemblyman Howard Watts, who has endorsed Warren, at Pearson Community Center today focused on issues that impact the Black community.
  • Buttigieg’s campaign plans to hold volunteer summits on Nov. 22 in Las Vegas and Dec. 6 in Reno, with the goal of training of hundreds of volunteers.


Reshuffling on the Board of Regents: Clark County Regent Trevor Hayes won’t run for re-election to Board of Regents, Indytern Shannon Miller reports.

Supreme Court changes: Shannon also reports that Associate Chief Justice Kristina Pickering will seek re-election in 2020, while Chief Justice Mark Gibbons will not.

Independent redistricting commission:  The League of Women Voters is pushing for a ballot initiative that would create an independent redistricting commission to combat partisan gerrymandering, my colleague Riley Snyder reports.

Ranked choice voting for state Senate: Riley also talked to a teacher in rural Nevada who is proposing a measure to amend the Nevada Constitution by substantially overhauling the structure of state Senate elections and including elements of ranked choice voting.

SOS to CCC: Former Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller, who lost a high-profile bid for attorney general in 2014, will run for Clark County Commission, Shannon reports.


Poll: Biden holds significant lead over Warren, Sanders in Nevada; top issue is electing someone who can beat Trump

Joe Biden speaks at a rally

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 10 point lead over Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic presidential caucusgoers in Nevada, buoyed by an intense focus on electing a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by The Nevada Independent released Monday.

But the poll found that the former vice president’s lead narrows to between 3 and 4 points among respondents who described themselves as being strongly committed to their first choice candidate and identified either Warren or Sanders as top second choice picks for the presidency, indicating that the race is far from settled in the Silver State.

The survey results come as Biden has been struggling in Iowa — surpassed in recent polls by Warren and Buttigieg — and New Hampshire is increasingly looking like a contest between Warren and Sanders. A win in Nevada, which is the first ethnically diverse state to vote in the presidential selection process, followed by a win in South Carolina, where Biden is polling well ahead of his competitors, could boost the former vice president heading into Super Tuesday even if he loses the first two states, where roughly nine in 10 people are white.

It also reveals the pragmatic approach that voters here may be taking when deciding which Democratic presidential nominee to support. The top issue for respondents was electing a candidate who can beat Trump — which was roughly twice to three times as popular as the second top choice issue, supporting someone who can work with both parties.

Biden was backed by 29 percent of likely caucusgoers in the poll, while Warren and Sanders were each favored by 19 percent of respondents. No other candidates received double-digit support in the poll with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent, billionaire Tom Steyer at 4 percent and California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 3 percent each.

Four candidates each received 1 percent support: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and self-help author Marianne Williamson. Nine percent of respondents said they were undecided in the race.

The poll, conducted by the Mellman Group for The Nevada Independent, sampled 600 potential Democratic caucusgoers between Oct. 28 and Nov. 2 over landline, cell phone and text and has a margin of error of 4 percent. Forty percent of interviews were conducted with those who have participated in a past caucus, according to data provided by the Nevada State Democratic Party.

The Democratic National Committee has determined that The Nevada Independent poll will be a qualifying poll for the November and December debates. Two candidates on the cusp — Gabbard for the October debate and Klobuchar for the December debate — did not net the 3 percent and 4 percent support, respectively, each needed in the poll.

The poll will give Steyer a second qualifying poll for the December debate. Candidates need four polls at 4 percent or more in early nominating states or national surveys and to reach a donor threshold, which Steyer has not yet met.

Looking only at those who identify themselves as “strong” supporters, Biden received 19 percent support, compared to 16 percent for Warren and 15 percent for Sanders. Seven percent of respondents identified themselves as “not strong” supporters of Biden, compared to only 3 percent for Sanders and 2 percent for Warren.

In line with other polls, the Massachusetts senator was respondents’ second choice pick for the Democratic nomination, with 21 percent support, followed by Sanders at 19 percent, and Buttigieg and Biden each at 11 percent. 

Overall, only 44 percent of respondents said they were certain about their first choice pick for the Democratic nomination, with another 55 percent reporting that they might consider another candidate before Nevada’s Feb. 22 first-in-the-West nominating contest, which is 110 days away.

The survey also found Warren had the highest net favorability rating among the Democratic presidential field, with 72 percent viewing her favorability compared to only 15 percent who viewed her unfavorably, for a net 57 percent positive rating. Biden and Sanders had net favorability ratings of 49 and 48 percent, respectively, while Buttigieg came in at 39 percent, Harris and Booker each at 32 percent, Steyer at 28 percent and Yang at 27 percent. 

Several candidates had net negative favorability ratings, with Williamson at 18 percent, Gabbard at 15 percent and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney at 8 percent.

Biden tended to have higher favorability ratings among those who identified themselves as somewhat liberal, moderate, or conservative, women and those above the age of 40, with relatively even perceptions between non-college and college educated individuals. He also was viewed slightly more positively among those who identified as white or non-white than Hispanic and those who have caucused in the past.

Warren was viewed most favorably by liberals, women, those 40 and up, college educated individuals and those who identified themselves as white. (However, the responses also reflect that a significant number of young people and respondents of color didn’t know who she is.) Those in Washoe County also tended to have a significantly more favorable view of Warren than those in Clark County, as did those who have caucused before, compared to those who hadn’t.

Sanders had the highest favorability ratings among self-described liberals and with people between the ages of 18 and 39. He also was viewed more positively by non-college educated individuals and voters who identify themselves as Hispanic or non-white. Those who have never caucused before also intended to favor Sanders more than those who have caucused.

Despite being the only millennial in the race at 37 years old, Buttigieg was viewed more favorably by the 65 and up demographic than he was by respondents between the ages of 18 and 39. The South Bend mayor had higher favorability ratings with college educated individuals and white voters, with a significant gap in favorability between white and Hispanic voters. (A high number of non-white and Hispanic respondents reported not knowing or having never heard of Buttigieg.)

The survey found that Biden was still the top pick among respondents as far as who would make the best president, with 27 percent support, compared to 18 percent for Warren, 17 percent for Sanders and 8 percent for Buttigieg.

Some of that may have to do with the priorities of likely democratic caucusgoers. An overwhelming plurality of respondents, between 31 and 33 percent, said that the most important issue for them when choosing a Democratic presidential nominee is who has the best chance to beat President Donald Trump. A smaller number of respondents, between 12 and 17 percent, identified their top priority as selecting someone who is willing to work with both parties to get things done.

That question included a split sample that tested support for “addressing climate change” versus support for a “Green New Deal.” Six percent of respondents named responding to climate change as their top priority, compared to 4 percent support for a Green New Deal.

Prior polls of the state, including one released on Sunday, have been criticized for not reaching out to more Latinos, who make up 29 percent of the state’s population and represented about 19 percent of all participants in Nevada’s 2016 Democratic caucus, according to an NBC News entrance poll. Twenty-one percent of respondents to The Nevada Independent poll identified themselves as Latino, Hispanic or of Spanish descent.

View the polling instrument below:

Full crosstabs below:

Poll on Nevada Latino voters shows wide gender gap in support for Trump

A group in chairs in the East Las Vegas Community Center

The gender gap in Latino voter preferences is up to three times wider than the gap among white or black voters, with 45 percent of Nevada Latino men approving of President Donald Trump and only 20 percent of women doing the same.

But overall in Nevada, 65 percent of Latino voters favor a Democratic presidential candidate and 22 percent favor Trump.

Those are two of the findings released Wednesday by Equis Labs, a firm that is launching an ongoing research project aimed at better understanding the Latino electorate. Leaders at the firm say that even though Latinos will make up the largest minority voter-eligible population in 2020, polls with small sample sizes or that treat Hispanic voters as a monolith are mischaracterizing them.

There’s a real urgency to understand the Latinx electorate,” said Stephanie Valencia, a former adviser to President Barack Obama and co-founder of Equis Labs, which is named after the Spanish word for the letter X. “We will be the X factor.”

Equis is harnessing the work of five different polling firms, including GBAO in Nevada, and trying to strike a balance of reaching out to people on cellphones, landlines and online, as well as in English and Spanish. It seeks to get a better sense of different subgroups within the Latino community to identify new outreach opportunities and inform regionalized messaging.

The project is of particular importance to progressives, who need to maximize support among Latinos to win the 2020 election. Republicans, on the other hand, simply need to maintain a portion of those voters in their camp to win.

‘Trump does not need to win a plurality of Latinx voters, just shave enough off the margins,” the group wrote.

The inaugural survey involved 8,100 interviews with registered Hispanic voters in 11 battleground states, including Nevada, and was conducted from July 8 to July 29. That was before the El Paso mass shooting and the ICE raids at Mississippi food processing plants that have resonated in the Latino community, and before recent economic indications that a recession could be nigh.

On issues, the poll found that 45 percent of Nevada Latinos approved of the Trump’s work on the economy, while only 29 percent approved of what he’s done on health care and 28 percent approved of his immigration policies.

The survey also found that respondents were more likely to feel a duty to vote than excitement about participating in the 2020 election. Sixty-seven percent said they felt motivated to vote, while only 44 percent described themselves as excited about it.

Researchers say the gap could be attributed to Democrats not settling on a nominee yet, but they also noted that “the negative tone about Hispanics in the national discourse could potentially suppress voter enthusiasm.”

The poll also surveyed particular issues, including abortion. Researchers say a large majority of Latino voters support abortion rights, with 66 percent in Nevada agreeing and 26 percent disagreeing with a pro-choice statement.

The statement respondents were asked to agree or disagree with was: “Women’s health care decisions, including abortion, should be made privately along with her doctors, family and her own beliefs. It’s not up to politicians to make a judgment about when a woman should become a parent.”

Equis Labs Latino Voter Poll by Michelle Rindels on Scribd

How The Indy will cover polls

Signage directs voters toward a voting center

What’s in a poll?

That is the question we will be asking as the campaigns careen into this final two months or so.

Many media outlets will publish polls based just on so-called “memos” that describe the results and are often tailored by campaigns or hyper-interested special interests. Polling memos are generally designed to help raise money or spin the story. It’s not journalism, therefore, to simply report off of these memos — but I made the mistake of doing just that many times in my early years covering campaigns.

The Indy will not do so.

Here is my pledge to our readers: We will not publish poll numbers unless the following conditions are met:

---We know who paid for the poll.

---We know who the pollster is and what the company’s political leanings and past performance have been.

---We are provided a copy of the full instrument. That is: Show us the entire poll!.

This last condition will be a sticking point for many. So be it.

But we will be reasonable. We will allow the campaign or interested party to redact any strategy questions or other non-essential information they do not want published. We would prefer to see all the questions, even if some are deemed off the record. But we are most concerned that there are no “push” questions — those queries designed to push respondents one way or another — before the so-called “horse race” questions are asked.

We also need to see an entire poll in order to assess whether the demographic model hews to the voter registration numbers — or at least to a reasonable Election Day model, which usually favors GOP turnout over Democratic turnout.

The stories we write about polls will contain a comparison between the voter registration numbers and those surveyed. We will tell you about the pollster’s past performance and any partisan biases. And we will try to put the poll in context with what is happening in the campaigns — how much paid media may be influencing the results, for instance.

You should be suspicious, as we are, if a campaign will not comply with a request to examine its entire survey. It means the candidate is trying to create a controlled narrative, whether to raise money or to drive or blunt momentum.

There was an object lesson in this year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary when EMILY's List, which endorsed Chris Giunchigliani, peddled a survey showing her ahead of Steve Sisolak. But the group refused to release the entire poll, and those numbers indeed proved to be bogus as he won the race by double digits. (We did not report on the poll.)

We always want to present stories with as much background and context as we can. That’s why we will continue to do as many fact-checks as possible and also why we will have rigorous standards for which polls we publish.

We know people sometimes dismiss the value polls because of notable failures — the 2016 presidential race, Brexit, even this week in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary. That’s why we have contracted with respected pollster Mark Mellman and why we always release the entire poll and the crosstabs — the internal breakdown of demographic groups. Transparency is always best for credibility.

There also is a suspected herd mentality among pollsters, where some will skew results to come close to other results. By seeing all the numbers, by doing our due diligence, we can mitigate that, too.

As always, I may not have thought of everything, and I welcome any suggestions.

Disclosure: Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani have donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

The Independent Poll: Public support for school choice initiatives remains mixed

The 2017 legislative session ended sans funding for Education Savings Accounts, spurring speculation about the fate of the controversial program that would have drastically widened school choice in Nevada.

The biggest question: Are ESAs dead or alive?

The answer largely depends on whom is elected to office, but a recent poll released by The Mellman Group shows split public support for the voucher-style program, although Southern Nevada residents were more open to it. The poll asked voters this question:

“Under Nevada’s Education Savings Account program, the state would give parents of students in grades K-through-12 $5,000 that parents can use to help pay for private, online or religious school tuition. Do you favor or oppose this program?”

Nearly half of Nevada voters surveyed — 49 percent — said they favored the program, while 38 percent opposed it and another 13 percent either didn’t know or didn’t answer the question.

The poll by The Mellman Group sampled 600 likely voters in Nevada between April 12 and April 19 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Support for ESAs, like other school choice-related issues, leaned to the right. Fifty-eight percent of registered Republicans polled said they favored the program, compared with 43 percent of registered Democrats. Nonpartisan voters fell in the middle: 46 percent said they support ESAs.

Meanwhile, 46 percent of registered Democrats, 29 percent of registered Republicans and 38 percent of nonpartisan voters said they were against ESAs. The remaining 11 percent of registered Democrats, 13 percent of registered Republicans and 15 percent of nonpartisan voters are undecided or declined to answer the question.

Geography also played a big role in whether Nevada voters approve or disapprove of the program. Fifty-three percent of Clark County voters surveyed favor ESAs, while 36 percent opposed the program and 11 percent either didn’t know or didn’t answer the question.

Washoe County voters, however, are split on the issue. Forty-three percent of Washoe voters who participated in the poll said they favor ESAs, and 45 percent oppose the program. The remaining 12 percent of voters weren’t sure or didn’t respond.

Additionally, the poll found that ESAs have strong support within the Hispanic community. Sixty-seven percent of Hispanic voters surveyed said they favored the program, while only 45 percent of white voters offered support.

Nevada voters indicated a greater willingness to support an ESA-like program for children with special needs. The poll included this question on that topic:

“Some have proposed a program that allows parents of children with special needs to allocate their education tax dollars to a state-managed account so the parent may customize a learning and development plan that would best serve their needs, including special needs, therapies, virtual education, K-12 private school tuition, vocational education or a combination of these, through approved providers. Do you favor or oppose this program?”

Seventy percent of voters surveyed said they’d favor that kind of program for children with special needs. Only 14 percent opposed it, and another 16 percent weren’t sure or didn’t answer.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their polls historically tilt slightly Democratic.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.

For the poll’s full crosstabs and Ralston’s blog on the latest Independent Poll click here.

The Independent Poll: Sisolak, Laxalt far ahead in governor primaries; Dems lead in other statewide races

A new poll shows well-funded Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak has a comfortable lead in Nevada’s contentious Democratic gubernatorial primary, pulling ahead of his commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani 44 percent to 16 percent, with 40 percent of likely voters saying they are undecided.

On the Republican side, Attorney General Adam Laxalt has an even more commanding lead in the primary. He leads his closest opponent by 51 percentage points, according to the survey from The Mellman Group that took Nevadans’ temperature in the high-stakes race to replace termed-out Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. Still, 38 percent of Republican primary voters are undecided.

Democrats are still favored for the governor’s seat in a matchup between frontrunners Sisolak and Laxalt. They’re also in the lead in races for attorney general, secretary of state and lieutenant governor, although many voters remain undecided.

The results unveiled Tuesday come from a statewide survey that was commissioned by The Nevada Independent and conducted among 400 Republican voters and 400 Democratic voters from April 12 to 19 for the primary samples, and 600 likely voters for the general election numbers.

Republican gubernatorial primary

Adam Laxalt, Republican candidate for Nevada governor, during a campaign event at the Veterans House in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Poll results show there’s little contest in the Republican primary — 55 percent of Republican respondents would vote for Laxalt if the election were held now. By contrast, 4 percent of respondents said they would choose Treasurer Dan Schwartz as governor, and 2 percent said they would vote for bike shop owner and political newcomer Jared Fisher.

Aside from Laxalt, others in the race are largely unknown. Eighty-one percent of likely Republican primary voters said they either hadn’t heard about Schwartz or didn’t know enough about him, even though he holds a statewide office and ran for Congress before that. That figure was even higher — 88 percent — for Fisher.

By comparison, 30 percent said they hadn’t heard of Laxalt or didn’t know much about him.

Laxalt has far outraised his opponents, cornering donations from the Adelson family that owns the Las Vegas Sands, Station Casinos and their owners, the Fertitta family. He has more of a structural advantage, garnering endorsements from sheriffs across the state, opening campaign offices and mobilizing large teams of volunteers. He also counts on support from outside groups such as Freedom Partners, part of a network run by conservative billionaires the Koch Brothers, which has paid for $1 million in ads to introduce Laxalt to Nevada voters.

Treasurer Dan Schwartz in a Winnemucca cafe on his rural campaign tour on Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by David Calvert

Schwartz, on the other hand, vowed not to take corporate donations and counts mostly on loans from himself, with contributions from family and friends to supplement.

Fisher, a political newcomer who is running a grassroots campaign for “A Healthy Nevada,” is likewise almost entirely self-funded.

Democratic gubernatorial primary

Forty-four percent of Democrats polled this month said that if the election were held today, they would choose Sisolak, who describes himself as a moderate. His more liberal opponent took 16 percent in the survey, although a full 40 percent said they hadn’t decided.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani during the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Texas Station on Friday, July 21, 2017. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Name recognition remains a challenge for Giunchigliani, a special education teacher and former longtime state lawmaker who only started running TV ads this week. Fifty-five percent of Democratic respondents said they either had never heard of her or didn’t know enough about her to have an opinion.

As for Sisolak, a fundraising titan who has massive banners alongside major Las Vegas highways and has been running commercials for weeks, even buying coveted airtime during Golden Knights hockey playoff games — 32 percent said they hadn’t heard of him or didn’t know enough about him to make an opinion.

Sisolak also appears to be the candidate more likely to beat Laxalt in the general election. In a theoretical matchup between the two, Sisolak took 42.7 percent to Laxalt’s 36.9 percent. Some 20.4 percent of voters said they were undecided.

In a theoretical matchup between Laxalt and Giunchigliani, the conservative attorney general garnered 39.9 percent of the vote compared with commissioner’s 37.9, with 22.2 percent undecided.

Attorney General

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford. Photo by David Calvert.

Democrats hold an advantage in the race to replace Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford has 36 percent of the vote in a theoretical matchup against former assemblyman and Laxalt deputy Wes Duncan.

Duncan has 27 percent of the vote in the theoretical matchup, while 37 percent of voters are undecided. Duncan has outraised his opponents in the race, including Ford, but also must clear a primary that includes Republican attorney Craig Mueller.

Attorney Wes Duncan. Photo by Jeff Scheid.

Both men are virtual unknowns to the pool of likely voters, though. Ninety-one percent of respondents said they hadn’t heard of or didn’t know much about Duncan, while 85 percent said that about Ford.

Lieutenant Governor

In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Kate Marshall is ahead with 39.7 percent of voters supporting her in a general election matchup against Republican state Sen. Michael Roberson. Marshall served two terms as state treasurer and also mounted an unsuccessful bid to represent Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District in a 2011 special election.

State Sen. Michael Roberson. Photo by David Calvert.

Roberson, who has held top-ranking posts in the state Senate but lost a 2016 Republican congressional primary to Danny Tarkanian, garnered 27.5 percent in the poll. 32.9 percent of respondents were undecided.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they either had never heard of or didn’t know much about Roberson or Marshall.

Roberson must first clear a primary that includes former Assemblyman Brett Jones, an outspoken foe of taxes including the business levy Roberson helped usher through the Legislature in 2015.

Secretary of State

Nevada Assemblyman Nelson Araujo. Photo by Daniel Clark.

Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Araujo had a slight edge over Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske when voters were asked who they’d choose in that matchup for secretary of state. Almost 36 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Araujo, while 31.1 percent said they’d vote for Cegavske and 33.1 percent said they were undecided.

Still, most people know very little about either. Eighty-eight percent of the 600 voters polled hadn’t heard of Araujo or didn’t know much about him, while 79 percent said that about Cegavske.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

Cegavske had a long career in the state Legislature before nabbing the post of top elections officer in 2014. Araujo, who at 30 has served two terms in the Assembly, is highlighting the fact that he could be the first Latino and the first openly gay politician to hold statewide office.

Disclosure: Station Casinos, Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani have donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their polls historically tilt slightly Democratic.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.

For the poll’s full crosstabs and Ralston’s blog on the latest Independent Poll click here.


The Independent Poll: Energy Choice, higher renewable standard ballot questions overwhelmingly favored

Two major energy ballot questions, one raising renewable production standards and another requiring the state to transition to a competitive retail electric market, have overwhelming leads, according to a new poll released by The Nevada Independent.

Voters said they approved of the Energy Choice Initiative on a 54 to 16 percent margin, with 30 percent undecided on the proposed constitutional amendment. In the 2016 election, the ballot question passed on a 72 to 28 percent margin.

A similarly large percentage of voters also indicated support for a potential ballot measure that would raise the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard — a minimum benchmark for renewable energy use in the state — to 50 percent by 2030. Voters supported that proposed amendment on a 68 to 20 percent margin, with 12 percent undecided.

The poll by The Mellman Group sampled 600 likely voters in Nevada between April 12 and April 19 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Support for the retail energy choice ballot question comes as little surprise, as the measure passed overwhelmingly in 2016 and is supported by some of the state’s largest companies — the Las Vegas Sands and data center Switch. Opponents of the measure, including incumbent electric utility NV Energy, have pledged to spend up to $30 million to defeat the measure and reserved close to $12 million in television ads opposing the ballot question.

Voters were asked two questions on the energy choice ballot question, including one stating the text of the question as it appears on the ballot, and another listing statements from supporters and opponents of the ballot question.

Voters were more likely to support the ballot measure after hearing arguments for both sides, with a 64 percent net favorable rating compared to a 14 percent unfavorable rating, with 22 percent undecided.

The proposed ballot question saw high support among all demographic groups polled. Respondents who identified as Democrats favored the proposal after hearing arguments from both sides on a 69 to 13 percent margin, and support among self-identified Republicans (60 to 17 percent) and independents and others (64 to 17 percent) remained high.

The measure also polled well in all parts of the state — Clark County saw 68 percent of respondents give a favorable impression of the ballot question to 12 percent unfavorable, with Washoe County seeing a 61 to 16 percent split and the rural parts of the state reporting a 55 to 18 percent difference.

A significant chunk of voters also appear to have entrenched support of the ballot question — a full 46 percent of respondents said they “strongly” support the measure after being presented with arguments from both sides, with only 8 percent “strongly” opposed.

Voters also responded favorably to raising state renewable energy standards, less than a year after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a similar bill that passed the 2017 Legislature. A group backed by California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer announced in February they would begin collecting signatures to place the measure, which would raise the RPS to 50 percent by 2030, on the 2018 ballot.

Self-identified Democrats were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the proposed ballot question, with 84 percent saying they would vote for it compared to only 6 percent opposed. But the measure also did well among self-identified independents (a 65 percent to 22 percent split) and Republicans (52 to 34 percent).

Voters who gave a favorable impression of President Donald Trump said they would support the initiative on a 52 to 35 percent margin.

Young voters between the ages of 18 and 39 also largely favored the ballot question, supporting it on an 81 to 12 percent margin. The measure polled well in all areas of the state, doing the best in Clark County (72 to 18 percent margin of support) while a majority of Washoe County (67 to 19 percent) and rural counties (55 to 31 percent) respondents polled said they favored it as well.

Disclosure: Switch and NV Energy have donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their polls historically tilt slightly Democratic.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.

For the poll’s full crosstabs and Ralston’s blog on the latest Independent Poll click here.

The Independent Poll: Heller, Rosen neck and neck in U.S. Senate race though Rosen still largely unknown; majority disapprove of Trump

Sen. Dean Heller is in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Rep. Jacky Rosen in one of the most closely watched U.S. Senate races in the country, according to a new poll released today by The Nevada Independent.

The poll, conducted by The Mellman Group in mid-April, found that 39.7 percent of voters favor Heller in the U.S. Senate race compared to 39.3 percent who favor Rosen, a first-term congresswoman currently representing Nevada’s 3rd District, with 21 percent undecided. Heller, the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, is considered a key target by Democrats in their attempt to win back control of the Senate.

The survey also found that a majority of Nevadans have negative opinions about President Donald Trump, who Heller has sought Trump’s approval after distancing himself from the future president in the 2016 election. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they favored Trump, compared to nearly 56 percent who said they had an unfavorable opinion.

The poll sampled 600 likely voters in Nevada between April 12 and April 19 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Rosen, who had never held office before her congressional race, lagged Heller significantly in name recognition among poll respondents, with 34.2 percent saying they had never heard of her compared to only 8 percent unfamiliar with him. Heller has served in public office since 1990 and in the U.S. Senate since 2011.

While eight in 10 Democratic and Republican respondents said they prefer the candidate from their party, Heller slightly fared better among those who identified as independents or with a third party, 33.3 percent to Rosen’s 27.5 percent, and Rosen performed better with self-described moderates, 37.7 percent to Heller’s 32.1 percent.

In statewide elections, Clark County tends to reliably vote Democratic, the 14 rural counties vote overwhelmingly Republican and Washoe County can swing either direction, often providing the needed boost to get a candidate over the finish line. So far, the poll indicates Rosen is beating Heller in Clark by a 6 point margin, Heller is winning in the rurals by nearly 29 points and Washoe is essentially a wash between the two, with Rosen leading by only 1 point.

In the poll, Heller lead Rosen by 4 points among men, but she leads him by about 3 points among women. She also fared better with people between 18 and 39, winning that demographic by about 23 points, while he outperformed among 40- to 59-year-olds and those over 60, by about 15 and 4 points, respectively. However, she narrowly edged him out by about 4 points among women over 60, while Heller garnered the most support from men over 60 by about 13 points.

Apart from how respondents said they would vote come November, younger voters were also much more likely to have a positive impression of Rosen than Heller — only 26.9 favored the Republican senator with 44.4 percent viewing him unfavorably, while the Democratic congresswoman garnered a 21.6 percent favorability rating and only 16.8 percent unfavorable among voters over 60. Voters over 50 favored Heller on a 46.2 percent to 36.8 percent margin, while they had a nearly even opinion of Rosen, 18.9 percent favorable opinion to 17 percent unfavorable.

Heller also fared better among respondents who identified as white, 47.2 percent to Rosen’s 33.9 percent, while she did better with Hispanics, 47 percent to his 26.6 percent.

More respondents had a favorable impression of Rosen than not, but their responses overall reveal that a significant number of likely voters don’t know her yet. Twenty percent of respondents had a favorable impression of her, compared to 14.7 percent unfavorable, but another 31 percent said they didn’t know and 34.2 percent said they had never heard of her.

Democrats had the most favorable opinion of Rosen, with 30.8 percent approving of her and 6.2 percent disapproving, but a full 31.8 percent still said they hadn’t heard of her. A little more than 30 percent of independents and third-party voters said they hadn’t heard of her and 39.5 percent of Republicans were also unfamiliar.

She is also not well known in the rurals, where 41.4 percent said they had never heard of her, and Washoe, where another 39.8 percent were unfamiliar. But even in Clark County, where her congressional district lies, 30.7 percent didn’t know her.

Heller’s favorability numbers have risen and his unfavorability has remained static since the last Indy Poll in January 2017. 38.2 percent of voters reporting having a favorable opinion of the incumbent, with 39.9 percent having an unfavorable opinion and 21.8 percent saying they didn’t know or never heard of him. Only 29 percent of voters held a favorable opinion of Heller last January, with 40 percent giving him a negative rating and 31 percent unsure or didn’t know.

Male and female respondents were both split on Heller — both reported favorable impressions of Heller on a roughly 38 percent favorable to 40 percent unfavorable split.

But Heller’s fate in many ways could be tied to the impression voters have of Trump, especially as the Republican senator has closely aligned himself with the administration on many votes and has been vocally supported by many in the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence. And Trump — who lost Nevada by a close 2-point margin in 2016 — is viewed unfavorably by many major demographic groups polled.

For as much as the president touted his support from the Hispanic community during the 2016 election — including during campaign stops in Nevada — 72 percent of Hispanic voters in Nevada viewed him unfavorably while 21.5 percent see him favorably, compared to his 49.4 percent favorability and 47.2 percent unfavorability ratings among white voters.

Trump, who has faced multiple allegations of sexual assault and allegedly made a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair, also performs worse among female voters in Nevada, with 35.9 percent viewing him favorably and 59.7 percent unfavorably, than he does with men, of whom 43.1 percent have a favorable impression of the president and 52 percent an unfavorable one.

Although Trump narrowly lost Washoe County by a 1.3 percent margin compared to the 10.7 percent margin he lost Clark by in 2016, the poll indicates that Northern voters hold a more unfavorable view of the president than those in Southern Nevada. A little more than 35 percent of respondents in Washoe County view the president favorably, compared to 64.3 percent who view him unfavorably. In Clark County, those numbers are 36.7 percent favorable to 58.5 percent unfavorable.

As expected, Trump performed best in the rurals, where 55.9 percent of respondents viewed him favorably compared to 34.7 percent unfavorably.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their polls historically tilt slightly Democratic.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.

For the poll’s full crosstabs and Ralston’s blog on the latest Independent Poll click here.

The Independent Poll: Full results and crosstabs

Today’s poll on moving the capital to Las Vegas (70-21 against) is the last of our results from The Mellman Group, which will be conducting regular surveys for The Nevada Independent. At the end of every series of poll results, we will post the entire topline and crosstabs.

To recap the results:

----Gov. Brian Sandoval’s numbers remain robust, with only 10 percent of voters seeing him as doing a “poor” job. President Trump had three times as many voters feeling that way right before he was inaugurated. Half of voters still don’t know who GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Adam Laxalt is, and only 29 percent of voters think Sen. Dean Heller is doing an “excellent” or “good” job. (One third of voters offered no opinion.)

----Only 8 percent of voters think Nevada’s public schools have gotten better during the last two years.

----Nearly 60 percent say the 2015 tax increase for education was a step in the right direction.

----Voters are divided on Education Savings Accounts: 45-43 against.

----Voters are split on repealing Obamacare: 49-44 for repeal.

----By 55-38, voters oppose the law raising room taxes to help pay for an NFL stadium.

----Two-thirds of voters support the death penalty.

----By 58-33, voters oppose Yucca Mountain.

----By 69-27, voters back increasing the minimum wage.

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted with live interviewers between Jan. 12 and 15, and has a margin of error of 4 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence.

The Mellman Group is an opinion research firm that has done polling for former Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Steny Hoyer and other political and corporate clients, including many in Nevada. FiveThirtyEight gives the group a “B” grade in their ranking of pollsters and says their political polls historically tilt slightly Democratic. Mellman also polls for business clients, which are not included in the 538 ratings.

Editor Jon Ralston explains why The Nevada Independent hired Mellman in a blog post here.