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« Schumer Wins Again | Blog Home Page | Give 'Em Heller »

South Vegas Race Tight

Even with a prominent recruit dropping out of the race late in the day, national Democrats could have a strong shot at taking back a fast-growing Congressional seat in the Las Vegas suburbs, a new poll out this weekend shows. The incumbent, Republican Rep. Jon Porter, is used to tense battles to keep his seat, and this year looks to be no different.

The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the Las Vegas Review Journal, tested 232 likely voters between 6/9-11, for a margin of error of +/- 6.6%. Porter and 2006 gubernatorial nominee and State Senator Dina Titus were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Porter.....45 / 16 / 76 / 51 / 53 / 37
Titus.......42 / 76 / 6 / 36 / 34 / 50

Porter's lead, already slim, faces some serious tests in the months ahead. Titus, who ran for governor in 2006 and narrowly lost to Republican Jim Gibbons, won the Third District by two points that year. And, after a surge of Democratic registrants in advance of the highly-anticipated January caucuses, the region now boasts 20,000 more Democrats than it does Republicans, a big increase from 2006.

It's already a narrow seat -- President Bush won in 2004 by 4,000 votes, while Al Gore beat him in 2000 by about 1,000 votes -- and with a Democratic surge, Porter could be in trouble. He narrowly beat a political unknown, Tessa Hafen, a former aide to Senator Harry Reid, in 2006, and running against Titus could be tougher.

Too, Porter has to work on his own image. Only 36% of his constituents thought he was doing an excellent or good job, while 56% rated him fair or poor, a terrible ratio and the worst of all five members of the state's congressional delegation, the statewide portion of the poll showed.

While the sample is small, the results are indicative that the race will once again be one of the closest in the country. The two will battle over the city's western and eastern suburbs, as well as Henderson, the second-largest city in Nevada, south to the border with Arizona and California.