Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has a substantial lead in the state’s GOP Senate primary, while Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo leads in the Republican gubernatorial primary, according to a new The Hill/Emerson College poll released Wednesday.
Laxalt, who is backed by former President Trump and much of the GOP establishment, holds a substantial lead, garnering just over 50% support among likely primary voters. Army combat veteran Sam Brown trails a distant second with 27%, and no other candidate tops the double digits. Another 15 percent of voters say they are undecided.
Laxalt races for the chance to challenge Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D).
Cortez Masto was first elected in 2016 and is considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable Senate incumbents. The political atmosphere this year should favor Republicans, and Nevada is already extremely tightly divided between the two major parties.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state by about 2 points in 2016, and President Biden won it by about the same margin in 2020.
Cortez Masto’s Senate race is expected to be extremely expensive, with the top Senate Republican super PAC investing $15 million in the state for ads. Meanwhile, the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm earmarks $8.4 million for Nevada.
In the gubernatorial race, Lombardo has a double-digit lead, garnering 33% support among likely primary voters. Former boxer Joey Gilbert came in second with 14%, and former senator Dean Heller (R) rounded out the top three with 11%. A whopping 25 percent of likely primary voters are undecided.
Candidates are running for the chance to unseat first-term Governor Steve Sisolak (D).
Trump endorsed Lombardo last week in what is expected to be one of the nation’s most competitive gubernatorial races, calling him “the leader Nevada needs.”
Still, Sisolak enjoys a sizable financial advantage, ending the first quarter with nearly $10 million in hand, compared to Lombardo’s $3 million.
The Hill/Emerson College poll polled 1,000 likely GOP primary voters from April 28 through May 2 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.