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« WA: Gregoire +2 | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Race Clouds All »

NV 03: Titus Leads

Democrats have a good shot to pick up a seat in suburban Las Vegas, a new poll shows, as former gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus boasts a small but significant lead over Republican incumbent Jon Porter in one of the fastest-changing districts in the country.

The poll, conducted for Titus' campaign by Anzalone Liszt Research, surveyed 500 likely voters between 7/23-28 for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. Porter, Titus and three third-party candidates were tested among a sample that was evenly divided, with 42% registration for each party and 16% independents.

General Election Matchup
Titus....................43
Porter..................39
Other...................10

Titus....................50
Porter..................43

Generic Dem.......43
Generic GOPer...43

Titus, who won the district when she ran for governor in 2006, has higher job approval ratings than Porter within the district. As a state senator, voters give her a 56% positive rating, while 32% view her negatively; Porter is seen positively by 50% and 41% say they see him in a negative light. Still, the generic ballot question, which shows district residents split between the parties, is a good sign for Porter.

The three additional candidates include a Green Party dentist, a Libertarian teacher and an insurance agency owner representing the Independent American Party -- an offshoot of George Wallace's American Independent Party -- take votes from both candidates, but they're not likely to end up with the ten points they show in Titus' poll. In 2006, two third-party candidates took nearly 5% combined, as Porter won with 48.5%.

Porter, running for his fourth term, has to introduce himself to more voters than most incumbents. His Henderson-based district grew by 32% from 2000 to 2005, according to the Almanac of American Politics, making it the third-fastest growing district in the country, behind two Arizona seats.