Thursday, October 18, 2012

NV-Sen: Maybe "Newspaper" Can't Save Heller?

Another day, another crazy "newspaper poll". Today, the "newspaper" is claiming Dean Heller has taken a 6% lead overall in the Senate race... And that he's doing so because he's supposedly leading (??!!) among Latino voters and is running close in Clark County. Come on, now. You know what's coming next.

Here's what Ralston says.

"Newspaper" shows Heller up 6. Also: He's winning Latinos by 8, indies by 25 and close in Clark. Welcome 2 fantasyland:

And here's what I say. Again, most public pollsters have a bad habit of undersampling likely Democratic voters. And in particular, Survey USA (the company the "newspaper" now uses for polling) is notorious for paying no interest whatsoever in ensuring it has the proper demographics. There's really no reason to whip into a fury over lousy polls.

It seems like Shelley Berkley herself is not. Instead, yesterday she met with The Las Vegas Sun editorial board to discuss why she believes she has what it takes to serve as one of Nevada's US Senators.

Berkley also took Heller to task for supporting a Republican-backed budget that would reconfigure Medicare, turning the program into a subsidy that Democrats have charged is a voucher program for anyone under age 55.

“That’s not Medicare,” Berkley said. “It’s some version of health care for older Americans, but it’s not Medicare.”

Heller, who has not responded to invitations to address the Sun’s editorial board, has said he was proud of his two votes for the budget in question, commonly referred to as the “Ryan budget” after the congressman and now-vice presidential candidate who wrote it. He has also argued that the changes to Medicare within it are necessary to the long-term sustainability of the program, and do not upset the fundamental object and purpose of the Medicare program.

Berkley listed her positions on energy development (she’s in favor of investing in renewables), small business (she wants to keep their taxes low) and tourism promotion (she wants more visa waivers and travel tax credits) as her biggest selling points for improving the economy in Nevada. [...]

On immigration, Berkley repeated that she would not vote in favor of a compromise bill that did not include a pathway to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants.

There you have it. This is honestly another big reason why I doubt Heller is doing all that well here in Southern Nevada. He doesn't even want to meet with the editoral board of the one legitimate newspaper in this town! In addition, he's been skipping candidate forums and other opportunities for Clark County voters to meet him. And, of course, he's been struggling as of late to hide his "tea party" sympathies from voters.

Remember this. It's far more insightful than what we're seeing in that other "newspaper" today.

11:00 AM UPDATE:

Here's what Ralston just caught.

I'm not surprised the Shelley Berkley campaign folks decided to release their internals with the "newspaper" (Sen. Dean Heller plus 6) and Rasmussen Reports (Heller plus 7) polls released today.

Neither of those surveys has been close to accurate in Nevada -- although perhaps 2012 will be the exception -- and Mellman nailed the 2010 race. He has Berkley, for whom he is working, up 3. [...]

All about turnout now and Mellman's models are as good as they get in Nevada.

Yep, yep, yep. The top lines are 41% Berkley (D) & 38% Heller (R) with 5% for the IAP candidate and 11% undecided. While I suspect the IAP candidate may not actually get that high of a vote count come November 6, on the other hand we're talking about a Mark Mellman poll here. He nailed the NV-Sen 2010 results when almost every other pollster choked. This shouldn't be taken lightly.

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